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Broken Flowers

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: A
Video/Audio/Extras: A/B/C+

Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
Written by: Jim Jarmusch
Produced by: Jon Kilik and Stacey Smith
Starring: Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Tilda Swinton, Alexis Dziena
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it

The DVD Archives has officially hit its first milestone. In the first time ever since it's debut on New Years Eve, this website now has three reviews of the same film. I commend my fellow reviewers on their brilliant taste, because Broken Flowers is an incredible film that deserves a lot of people's attention. Most DVD websites just have one review per film, but we are different and like one of my favourite DVD websites, DVD Talk, we want you to hear different opinions on the same film. Okay, now that I have written that important notice, it's time for me to write about everyone's favourite film, Broken Flowers.

Don Johnston (Bill Murray) is a bachelor who used to court a lot of ladies in his day. When he recieves a pink letter with no signature, explaining that his 19-year-old son has gone looking for him, he shgws it to his neighbour and best friend, Winston (Jeffrey Wright). Don then compiles a list of the women he went to bed with 20 years ago and Winston finds out where they live and what they do. So, he goes on a journey to find out who the writer of the letter is. He meets a widower (Sharon Stone) with a interestingly named daughter (Alexis Dziena), a real estate agent (Frances Conroy) who believes that water will be worth more than oil and gold, a doctor (Jessica Lange) who can talk to animals (but doesn't, um, eat) and a trailer park girl (Tilda Swinton).

Who could it be? Jim Jarmusch's brilliant script is so good, because any of the women could be the mother of his son. The performances from the four actresses playing the women also allow any of them to be the mysterious letter writer. Jeffrey Wright's brilliant performance completely deserved an Oscar nomination, but the Academy's annoying hate towards comedic roles denied him one. Bill Murray also gives a wonderful performance in the same vein as his work in Lost in Translation. However, I do want to see him go back to his Caddyshack-type roles. The image on the DVD looks great and very clear, even in scenes with a lot of light. The video gets an "A" grade. The audio is also really good with the music playing very well. I recommend watching the film with subtitles, though, because some scenes aren't very audible. The grade that I will give to the audio is a "B."

Since this film didn't exactly become a March of the Penguins at the box office, Focus Features didn't really put a lot of extras on this disc, but what we get is very good. The first special feature is an extended cut of the teenages talking on the bus. It is a very funny scene and it is obvious that Jarmusch just told them to just talk whatever their hearts desired. Next is a behind-the-scenes featurette that shows the clapper "clapping" in every single scene. The next extra consists of shots of Jarmusch directing and some comments by him. He explains how he managed to get the actresses in their roles and why the disc doesn't have a commentary track. The disc ends off with information about the soundtrack, the film's theatrical trailer and previews for The Trailer Park Boys Movie, The Constant Gardener and Brokeback Mountain.

It's upsetting that Focus didn't add that much to the disc, but the film is a great watch and even though I only saw it once, I'm pretty sure if I saw it again, I'd catch some new things and think up some more theories. Highly recommended.

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