How he does it is beyond me.
By the time a friend told me that his new movie, Broken Flowers, was out in the theatres, I was already seated comfily in Orchard Cineleisure Theatre 6.
This is the set-up of Broken Flowers.
Bill Murray plays Don Johnston, a lifelong bachelor, who made his money in computers and now refuses to own one.
... To a surreal three-way conversation with Jessica Lange and a cat. The feline warns her about Don. "He says you have a hidden agenda,” Jessica Lange tells him.
Then there is a very funny dinner scene where Don dines with his ex (played by Frances Conroy) and her hubby.
I have got to say this… I can tell how good an actor is from the way he eats on film. I’m serious! Take Chow Yun Fatt for example. This guy can make me sob just from watching him eat chicken rice!
Same for Bill Murray. He had me in stitches as he looked balefully at his plate of carrots, stabbed at them with his fork into a lovely orange column, proceeded to push them all into his mouth and almost gag from the taste or lack of.
Bill Murray is his typical deadpan self here. But in his stillness and sadness, he is quietly funny and delivers a powerful performance as always. I also love the one-liners he delivers and his charming interactions with Winston’s children.
Those of you who have watched Lost In Translation, well… Broken Flowers is somewhat similar. (Do I hear a cheer or a groan?) The pacing is slow, the humour is subtle and a lot of the film is left to your own interpretation. I’m not always a fan of flicks like these. But Bill Murray is such a gem of an actor, he makes Broken Flowers (and Lost In Translation) hilarious. And Broken Flowers had me and my friend laughing out loud at many parts.
I’m still undecided about the ending though… not sure if I like it yet. It’s one of those open endings. I suppose we aren’t meant to know for sure if any of these women is the mother of his son, or if Don ever gets to meet him. By the end of the movie, we realise that this road trip isn’t as much a journey for Don to discover if he has a child, as it is a journey to discover if he actually wants a child.
Oh, the other thing I enjoyed about Broken Flowers is the soundtrack. Winston burns Don a CD of Ethiopian chill-out music for his trip. It sounds like Balinese music bellydance-style. Very hypnotic. Very cool.
I think I may have just become a fan of Ethiopian jazz!