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Broken Flowers

Year: 2005
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Bill Murray, Jessica lange, Tilda Swinton, Frances Conroy, Sharon Stone, Julie Delpy
Like the Coen brothers, Jim Jarmusch has gradually become more mainstream, and after casting The New Bill Murray in Coffee and Cigarettes, the two have emerged as something of a De Niro/Scorsese combo in the sort of low-key comedy Broken Flowers embodies.

But it wasn't quite mainstream enough to hold my interest, and while it's true Bill Murray is funny no matter what he does (even his face makes you smile, reminding you of some of your best memories of the cinema screen), most of the time he's either sitting with the famous dour look on his face or shambling around like an embalmed corpse, neither of which are funny.

He plays an aging ladykiller who receives a letter from an anonymous former lover that informs him he might have a child by her. Egged on by his friend and neighbour, who plans out the whole trip for him, he criss-crosses the country visiting his former girlfriends trying to work out who the mother is.

While it's a very episodic idea, Jarmusch and actors like Stone, an unrecognisable Swinton, Lange and Conroy deserve credit for making the characters so different from each other.

But you just can't believe in any of it. That Don goes on the trip when he clearly isn't interested is too hard to swallow, and little happens after that. There seems a deeper point than him finding the mother of his son, but other than visiting his old flames, the film goes nowhere.

It's as mainstream as Jarmusch gets, but that's still far left of centre.

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