The Brothers Bloom

The Brothers Bloom

The Brothers Bloom is an entertaining throwback to early slapstick comedy but with cell phones. Bloom’s (Adrian Brody) older brother Stephen (Mark Ruffalo who is also making a TIFF appearance in Blindness) has been rewriting his little brother’s life since they were kids. At the ages of 10 and 13, the boys began their careers […]

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The Brothers Bloom is an entertaining throwback to early slapstick comedy but with cell phones.

Bloom’s (Adrian Brody) older brother Stephen (Mark Ruffalo who is also making a TIFF appearance in Blindness) has been rewriting his little brother’s life since they were kids. At the ages of 10 and 13, the boys began their careers as con men, tricking the ”playground bourgeoisie.” Weary of betraying everyone and never being himself, Bloom threatens to quit after every job. Finally, Stephen agrees to let Bloom go if he helps Stephen and their silent partner Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi) con a rich lonely eccentric named Penelope (Rachel Weisz) out of a small fortune. There’s just one rule: don’t fall in love.

Director Rian Johnson is not new to adapting early film genres to modern tastes, having done so to critical-acclaim in 2005 with his feature debut, Brick. The Brothers Bloom employs an old school approach to comedy that went out of style but never stopped being funny. While the design appears dated, the narrative unfolds in a non-descript era that is modernized with technology, graffiti walls and references to animé. The result is genuinely humorous and often mysterious.

Ruffalo is the dominant personality in the brothers’ relationship; he’s the quick-witted idea man. Brody is the charming front man that easily wins the trust of the marks. Meanwhile, Kikuchi is practically a mime but cute rather than annoying. And Weisz is wonderfully quirky and naive.

This film is a joyous unpredictable ride with a brilliant last act.


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