The Brothers Bloom (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner04/06/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 109 mins

Hugely enjoyable, superbly written and impressively directed drama with terrific performances and a witty, offbeat script, though the ending is a little disappointing.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick), The Brothers Bloom stars Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody as Stephen and Bloom, two brothers who've been successfully pulling con tricks since they were foster children. However, Bloom is tired of the con game and dreams of an "unwritten life", i.e. a life that hasn't been scripted for him by his brother.

Together with their enigmatic, silent third member (Babel's Rinko Kikuchi as explosives expert Bang Bang), Stephen eventually persuades Bloom to take part in One Last Con and introduces him to their latest victim: beautiful, eccentric and lonely heiress Penelope (Rachel Weisz), who's yearning for a life of adventure. However, Bloom falls in love with Penelope and confesses their scheme, only for Penelope to declare that she wants to be a con artist too.

The Good
Fans of Johnson's stylish debut will find much to enjoy in The Brothers Bloom, not least the delightful script, which crackles with terrific dialogue and rewards close attention. The film also closely resembles the work of Wes Anderson, from its cleverly animated inserts to its perfect soundtrack and its quirky characters with their distinctive wardrobes and penchants for steamships.

The performances are wonderful: Brody and Ruffalo have real chemistry, while Weisz is utterly adorable as the quirky, unpredictable Penelope (the montage where she demonstrates all the skills she's taught herself is one of many highlights). However, the film is completely stolen by Kikuchi, despite the fact that she only has two lines of dialogue, to the point where you end up watching her even when she's in the background.

The Great
Johnson orchestrates some great sequences that will have you grinning from ear to ear, particularly the opening scenes of the brothers pulling their first successful scam. That said, the ending doesn't quite work, because you're expecting something bigger.

Worth seeing?
The Brothers Bloom is a well written, brilliantly directed con flick that is sure to attract a cult following, not least because of its wonderfully offbeat characters. Highly recommended.

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The Brothers Bloom (12A)
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Content updated: 26/06/2017 13:10

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