Directed by Jim Jarmusch
2005, USA, 106 minutes.
For matches made in filmmaker heave, you can’t do much better than minimalist director Jim Jarmusch and deadpan comic Bill Murray. Granted, Murray’s roles during the second stage of his career have largely been broken middle-aged men saturated in ennui, and granted, Murray’s role in Broken Flowers, Don Johnston, is that kind of character, but this film shouldn’t be missed because it’s Murray at his best, most broken and lonely, with all the other details stripped back. It’s the Zen of Bill Murray, if you will.
Things kick off as retired playboy Don Johnston’s current girlfriend is leaving him, and he receives a letter from an unidentified former lover. He has a son who may be looking for him. With some prodding from a friend, Johnston revisits the five most likely women, revisiting relationships and the reasons they failed.
Sounds harsh? Yeah, it is; as to whether this is a cautionary tale or a realization that loneliness is a mere fact of life is up to you.