Broken Flowers – Review

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Don (Bill Murray) is an introverted IT millionaire, contemplating the unexpected departure of his young French girlfriend, Sherry (Julie Delpy).

His attention is diverted by an unsigned, pink letter in the post, in which one of his former girlfriends, from two decades earlier, tells him they had a son together.

He’s moderately intrigued, but happy to let it lie, until his overenthusiastic, mystery-loving frustrated-P.I. neighbour Winston (Jeffrey Wright) plans a nationwide trip – down to the flights, hotels and even the music for the car – so that he can revisit his past.


Anyone who’s grown to like Bill Murray’s desert-dry, laid back demeanour will enjoy another “Lost in Translation” style performance. The joy of watching him is in what he doesn’t do or say, rather than what he does.

As the story unfolds, one by one, we meet his ex-lovers – now ranging from wealthy to trailer-trash and with jobs as varied as an estate agent and an animal communicator.

The episodes vary between understated and frenetic, and each one has the kind of surreal edge you’d expect from Jim Jarmusch.

And anyone who knows Jarmusch’s work should know that as well as expecting fully rounded performances that betray variously the charm, enthusiasm, confusion and discomfort of the characters, they certainly shouldn’t expect an ending.

But that doesn’t matter…although it sets itself up as a mystery, the resolution – or otherwise – of Don’s quest is nothing like as important as his journey.

Jarmusch and Murray fans will love it. Enthusiasts of well made Independent American movies generally will love most of it. Most other people won’t have a clue what to make of it.