I watched two films today: Broken Flowers and Flight Plan. One is a Bill-Murray-Lost-in-Translation type and the other is a Jodi-Foster-Panic-Room-Type. Ironically both those actors are in these very movies.
Broken Flowers is one of those low budget indie flicks you see at festivals. Bill Murray plays an over the hill man stuck in nuetral. Unlike his character in Lost in Translation, this character (Don Johnston) is much too lazy and much too jaded to have a mid-life crisis. His only friend seems to be Jeffrey Wright (who is a show stealer here) that spends his spare time between 3 part time jobs searching the net as an amatuer detective. One day Murray recieves a pink letter from an old girlfriend who informs him he has a 20 year old son who has left home to look for him, his father. The letter is however unsigned and so under the “guidence” of Wright, Murray is sent out to find out which of his 5 girlfriends from that time is the author and the mother.
Broken Flowers is very much a film about the comfort of solitude versus the overwhelming desire to connect with someone, with anyone, even an old girlfriend or a 20 year old son. Murray seems to be a master of the jaded-niche which tends to work well with these types of characters in these types of movies; the ability to do and say everything without doing or saying anything. If you’re into the indie flicks (like I am) such as Lost in Translation, then you will like Broken Flowers.
Bottom Line: 4/5
Flightplan is mostly Jodi Foster doing her last blockbuster movie Panic Room except this time it’s 40,000 feet on a giant plane. After her husband suddenly dies in Berlin she and her daughter are on a plane heading home with the coffin. Waking up from a nap she discovers her 6 year old daughter is missing and after searching up and down she finds nothing. Moreover the flight crew inform her that the daughter was never on the plane, her name is not registered, her bag is missing, her boarding pass is not there, no one has seen her and no one believes she exists. So the whodunnit script runs between Foster is crazy or the only muslim arab on a plane of 500 people is to blame for causing her daughter to vanish. Though after it’s established that most arab muslims are not related to Houdini, a series of plots ensue where Foster tries to desperatly figure out what they hell is going on.
For the sake of being entertained the film does manage to accomplish that, but just barely so consider yourself warned. It’s really one of those movies that is very much a magic act, where you know you’re too old to be fooled into thinking it’s real (or in this case even logical) but you find yourself curious to know how they did it.
Bottom Line: 2.5/5