Director Rian Johnson hit it out of the park with his first film Brick (2005), a small, quirky indie film with a grade-A cast and some amazing style. The Brothers Bloom looked just as good, but unfortunately had a small run and I was unable to see it in theaters.
The film centers around two brothers, Stephen and Bloom, who after being orphaned and shuffled between various foster homes, become con men to make it in the world. They’re rather good at it, but after having made a name for themselves, Bloom decides he wants out. The two brothers, along with their sidekick and explosives specialist Bang-Bang, plan the perfect con to go out on: showing a reclusive but beautiful heiress, Penelope, a good time on a journey across the globe. Problem is, Bloom can’t con a woman without falling in love in the process.
This film’s story makes it stand out. Because it’s a movie about con men, it’s hard to know when to trust what’s going on as the absolute truth. The movie will trick you, but that’s what makes it great to watch for the first time. You’ll be guessing the brothers, especially Stephen, at every turn.
First and foremost, Johnson’s directing makes this film a joy to watch. If you’re a fan of Wes Anderson, I’d suggest you check out this movie. It’s beautiful. It’s almost all shot on location in the various spots the brothers gallivant to on their adventures. The colors are amazing. The shots are well planned and executed with grace and style. I really can’t gush about the visuals of this film enough.
The Brothers Bloom has a superb cast as well. You’ll recognize young Stephen, played by Max Records, who’ll be playing alongside the older Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) in Where The Wild Things Are. Mark Ruffalo stands out in this film, and Adrien Brody will break your heart as Bloom. Rachel Weisz is odd but lovable as the heiress Penelope.
After you finish the flick, the special features are worth taking a peek at. There’s a cute ten minute or so featurette on the making of the film, with a cool look at how even the most obscure shots were totally on location. I really enjoyed the deleted scenes, since there’s an option to listen to Rian Johnson talk about each scene and why they were deleted from the film. The deleted scenes will explain anything you may have been confused about while watching the movie.
If I had seen The Brothers Bloom in theaters, it would have surely been one of my favorites of 2008. Instead, it’s become one of my favorite discoveries of 2009. I can’t wait to watch this movie again.