January 7th: The Brothers Bloom


Release Date: 2008
Director: Rian Johnson
Why I picked this: Again, Rian Johnson

After watching Rian Johnson’s other two feature films, “Brick” and “Looper,” which contained serious elements, I initially found this film, with all of its comedic and quirky elements surprising. Still, it contains all of Rian Johnson’s visual elements that I noticed from his other work, including his clever camerawork and use of the sun in some shots. This quirky con caper is pretty to look at and has some good performances, but to me, it never reached the height of Johnson’s other work. I sometimes felt I was watching an inferior version of “The Prestige” or “The Game” when the movie had me questioning if the events of the movie were real or a con. Adrien Brody’s character was a decent protagonist, but while I understood his motivations, I never got a good grasp of his character. His brother, played by the always great Mark Ruffalo, was more enjoyable to watch. Rinko Kikuchi is a joy to watch as Ruffalo’s (almost) always mute assistant. Her character made me laugh more than the other characters without saying any words, and Kikuchi’s performance works in perfect harmony with Johnson’s directing. Rachel Weisz comes at the audience like a hurricane of quirkiness. Weisz probably does the most work out of the actors, and it’s probably the hardest role to play, but I never truly understood why her character was so damn weird, as fun as it was to watch said weirdness. It might be unfair to compare “The Brothers Bloom” to “Brick” and “Looper,” but even without comparing, I sometimes lost interest in the plot of this movie.

It’s not Johnson’s best, but his clever and unique visual style and the performances from the four main leads make the watch worth it.


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