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Broken Flowers

Broken Flowers

3.7 4
Director: Jim Jarmusch,

Cast: Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Sharon Stone

A man sets out to find the son he didn't know he had and winds up getting answers to some questions he never asked in this comedy-drama from director Jim Jarmusch. Don Johnston (Bill Murray) is an emotionally blank middle-aged man who has never married and lives a quiet, comfortable life thanks to shrewd investments in computers (though he doesn't use one himself).


A man sets out to find the son he didn't know he had and winds up getting answers to some questions he never asked in this comedy-drama from director Jim Jarmusch. Don Johnston (Bill Murray) is an emotionally blank middle-aged man who has never married and lives a quiet, comfortable life thanks to shrewd investments in computers (though he doesn't use one himself). After being given his walking papers by his latest girlfriend, Sherry (Julie Delpy), Don receives an anonymous letter informing him he fathered a son 19 years ago, and that the boy wants to find his dad. Not sure what to do, Don shows the note to Winston (Jeffrey Wright), a neighbor who fancies himself an amateur detective. With Winston's help, Don narrows the list of possible mothers down to four women, and with a mixture of reluctance and resigned determination he sets out to find them. Armed with a CD of traveling music from Winston, Don pays unannounced visits to Laura (Sharon Stone), an oversexed widow with a libidinous teenage daughter (Alexis Dziena); Dora (Frances Conroy), a stuffy real estate agent; Penny (Tilda Swinton), an aging biker with no happy memories of Don; and Carmen (Jessica Lange), a self-styled analyst for pets whose outward eccentricity disguises a firm inner stability.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
That incomparable master of movie minimalism, director Jim Jarmusch, uses an uncharacteristically subtle Bill Murray as his onscreen surrogate in this placid but absorbing dramedy. Murray portrays Don Johnston, a womanizing computer-biz millionaire described by his most recent girlfriend (Julie Delpy) as "an over-the-hill Don Juan." After receiving an anonymous letter indicating that he's the father of a young man now looking for him, Don rouses himself from the comfort of his modest home to visit his former paramours in an attempt to learn whether or not he's being put on by an irate ex-lover. The ladies in question: a recently widowed scatterbrain (Sharon Stone); an uptight realtor (Frances Conroy); a flighty pet therapist (Jessica Lange); and a tight-lipped biker chick (Tilda Swinton). The female characters are sharply drawn and well portrayed by fine actresses in what amounts to glorified cameos. Murray's character largely reacts to them, and under Jarmusch's direction the erstwhile Saturday Night Live star holds himself back with unusual but welcome restraint. We never really know what Don is thinking, because his demeanor suggests catatonia; he's an emotionally immobile figure around whom the episodic story dawdles, provoking quiet laughs with the slightest of expressions and gestures. We daresay the movie's humor will be lost on those viewers who prefer the likes of, say, Wedding Crashers or The 40-Year-Old Virgin. But those who enjoy unpretentious comedies with intellectual underpinnings will find this sparkling Jarmusch jewel much to their liking.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
By this point in his career, Bill Murray had become remarkably adept at playing characters who use coldness and deadpan humor to keep the world at bay, while offering glimpses of the pain underneath the mask of indifference. In Lost in Translation and his collaborations with Wes Anderson, the characters Murray played ended up revealing themselves in small physical gestures, vocal tics, or in subtle facial expressions. This ability to invest a seemingly emotionally dead person with sudden depth makes him the ideal actor to collaborate with Jim Jarmusch. The best Jarmusch films include a protagonist who sees the world in the same still, deadpan way Jarmusch's camera does, and Don Johnston is one of those characters. A womanizer too bored with himself to put up much of a fight when his current girlfriend walks out on him, Murray drains all bathos from Johnston's depression and lassitude. The character begins unlikable and the actor never once attempts to win the audience's sympathy. However, while reading aloud the anonymous note that informs him that he is a father, Don's voice catches just once. And in that superb moment, Murray reveals the depth of feelings that the character has locked away. That moment allows the rest of the film to resonate on a much deeper level than it would appear to on the surface. The final stop on his journey, at the gravesite of a former girlfriend, should provide a melodramatic moment of near operatic sadness and emotion, but the stillness of Murray and Jarmusch's art leaves the viewer just as devastated as if Don wailed to the heavens. The duo understands how to invest the smallest moments and gestures with profound depth and feeling. Broken Flowers is one of the best films of either of their careers.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Focus Features
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Outtakes with Bill Murray and more; Behind the scenes with cast and crew; Extended scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bill Murray Don Johnston
Jeffrey Wright Winston
Sharon Stone Laura
Frances Conroy Dora
Jessica Lange Carmen
Tilda Swinton Penny
Julie Delpy Sherry
Mark Webber The Kid
Chloë Sevigny Carmen's Assistant
Christopher McDonald Ron
Alexis Dziena Lolita
Larry Fessenden Will
Pell James Sun Green
Heather Alicia Simms Mona
Brea Frazier Rita
Christopher Bauer Dan

Technical Credits
Jim Jarmusch Director,Screenwriter
Mulatu Astatke Score Composer
John Dunn Costumes/Costume Designer
Frederick Elmes Cinematographer
Sarah Frank Art Director
Mark Friedberg Production Designer
Jon Kilik Producer
Drew Kunin Sound/Sound Designer
Ellen Lewis Casting
Todd Pfeiffer Asst. Director
Jay Rabinowitz Editor
Ann Ruark Co-producer
Stacey Smith Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Broken Flowers
1. The Pink Letter [3:26]
2. The Private Life of Don Juan [5:03]
3. Dear Don [6:50]
4. It's Kinda Lonely in Here [4:36]
5. What List? [4:00]
6. The Plan [4:55]
7. In Transit [6:08]
8. Surprise Appearance [4:50]
9. Laura & Lolita [3:31]
10. Just Looking for a Typewriter [2:49]
11. Dora [6:13]
12. A Swig of Oil [4:51]
13. Stalking in a Taurus [7:45]
14. Hidden Agenda [6:26]
15. I'm Lost [3:13]
16. Penny's Farm [7:35]
17. Michelle Pepe [5:15]
18. The Last Card? [6:07]
19. All There Is Is This [6:54]
20. End Titles [4:58]


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Broken Flowers 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Bill Murray, and I love films that are realistic and beautifully put together, but I think my expectations were a bit too high. I wasn't disappointed, per say, it just wasn't what I thought it'd be. Let's just say that you get to see a lot of the inside of a Ford Taurus. Don't expect a happy ending from this film, or any happiness at all, for that matter. But life is sometimes dark and lonely, and it leaves us wanting more...just like this film. Don't be discouraged by the non-happy theme. Give it a shot--it just might appeal to some part of you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THis movie is a sedate one for Bill Murray, much slower than even Lost In Translation. But this is still a good movie to pass an evening. He meets someone very different women along the way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Murray has mastered staring ahead during long stretches of silence while occasionally raising an eyebrow. It's cute, like a Pikanese nonchalantly pooping on your lawn. I loved it in "Lost in Translation." Now, it feels gimicky. I'm sorry, Mr. Murray, that you didn't get the Oscar you deserved from "Lost," but please cut the strings and make a new movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago