Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jim Jarmusch|
|Produced by||Jon Kilik
|Written by||Jim Jarmusch
(Inspired by an idea from Bill Raden and Sara Driver)
|Music by||Mulatu Astatke|
|Editing by||Jay Rabinowitz|
|Distributed by||Focus Features|
|Release date(s)||August 5, 2005|
|Running time||106 minutes|
Broken Flowers is a 2005 French/American comedy-drama film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch and produced by Jon Kilik and Stacey Smith. The film focuses on an aging "Don Juan" who embarks on a cross-country journey to track down four of his former lovers after receiving an anonymous letter stating that he has a son. The film stars Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Tilda Swinton, Julie Delpy, Chloë Sevigny, and Mark Webber.
Don Johnston (Bill Murray), a former Don Juan having made a small fortune in the computer industry, wants to live in quiet retirement. He is content to lounge around watching old movies and listening to classical music. His current girlfriend, Sherry (Julie Delpy), is ending their relationship and moving out of his house when a letter in a pink envelope arrives. After she walks out, Don reads the letter; it purports to be from an unnamed former girlfriend, informing him that he has a son who is nearly 19 years old, and who may be looking for him. Initially, Don doesn't intend to do anything about it, but his busybody neighbor Winston (Jeffrey Wright), who is a mystery novel enthusiast, urges Don to investigate. Winston researches the current locations of the five women most likely to have written the letter and gives Don the information along with maps and flight reservations, and urges him to visit them. Don finally agrees and Winston tells Don that he will drive him to the airport the next morning.
Ultimately Don meets with four women, each encounter worse than the last:
- Laura (Sharon Stone) works as a closet and drawer organizer and is the widow of a race car driver. She has a teenage daughter, Lolita (Alexis Dziena), who parades nude in front of Don. That night, Laura sleeps with Don.
- Dora (Frances Conroy) is a realtor. Once a "flower child" of the 1960s, she is now melancholic, apparently resigned in her marriage to Ron (Christopher McDonald).
- Carmen Markowski (Jessica Lange) works as an "animal communicator." Don recalls how she was formerly so passionate about becoming a lawyer. But "passion is a funny thing," she says. She is cold to Don and appears to be having an affair with her secretary (Chloë Sevigny).
- Penny (Tilda Swinton) lives in a rural area amongst bikers. She holds a grudge against Don for some reason. When Don asks her whether she has a son, she becomes enraged, which results in one of her biker friends punching Don out. The next morning, Don finds himself in his car, in the middle of a field, with a nasty cut near his left eye.
Later, Don stops at a florist to buy flowers from a friendly and attractive young woman named Sun Green (Pell James) who bandages his cut. Don leaves the flowers at the grave of the fifth woman, Michelle Pepe, who Don originally thought might be the mother before finding out she had died five years prior. Finally, Don returns home where he meets a young man in the street (Mark Webber) whom he suspects may be his son. He buys him a meal, but when he remarks that the young man believes that Don is his father, the young man becomes agitated and flees. As Don attempts to chase the man, he notices a Volkswagen Beetle drive past. A young man in the passenger seat (played by Homer Murray, the real-life son of Bill Murray) is listening to the music which Don himself listens to as Don is left standing in the middle of a crossroads.
The narrative, and Don's journey to each of his five past lovers, contains symbols of life's stages from youth to death. Lolita, the daughter of Sharon Stone's character, Laura, represents an early stage of life where sexual energy and passion drives relationships. The second lover shows great passions of youth lost to a life that has becoming sterile, asset-building, and functional. Dr. Carmen seeks refuge in idiosyncratic peculiar insanities to the extreme of forming relationships with the absurd. Penny represents all the cold brutality which may represent life in old age, the impossibility of forming new meaningful relationships when you are old. On this view, the ugly cruelty of age hits him hard; he is alone, with the interlude of Flower Shop Girl: She is his caring nurse, before the 5th Lover: death. In the graveyard, he laments alone and cries. Furthermore, it is only when he thinks he has found his son does he realize that he is truly lonely.
- Bill Murray as Don Johnston
- Jeffrey Wright as Winston
- Sharon Stone as Laura Daniels Miller
- Frances Conroy as Dora Anderson
- Christopher McDonald as Ron Anderson
- Jessica Lange as Dr. Carmen Markowski
- Tilda Swinton as Penny
- Julie Delpy as Sherry
- Alexis Dziena as Lolita Miller
- Chloë Sevigny as Carmen's assistant
- Pell James as Sun Green
- Meredith Patterson as Flight attendant
- Ryan Donowho as Young man on bus
- Mark Webber as The Kid
The film's working title was Dead Flowers (as seen on the clapperboard in the "making-of" film in the DVD's extras). The film is dedicated to French director Jean Eustache. In an interview, Jarmusch said he felt close to Eustache for his commitment to making films in a unique and independent fashion.
It was filmed in Rockland County and Westchester County, New York, as well as in New York City and the townships of Mahwah and Wayne, New Jersey. In agreeing to do this film, Bill Murray set the conditions that it would only take six weeks and that he was never more than 60 miles from his home in Rockland County, New York.
Director Jim Jarmusch generated the wording in the pink letter by asking each of the four female leads to write a version of the letter from the point of view of their respective characters. He used an amalgamation of those four letters in the finished film, "using pieces of their own language".
Reed Martin sued Jarmusch in March 2006, claiming that the director stole the film's concept from a very similar script that had circulated among several people eventually involved in the production. Jarmusch denied the charges and stated in response that Martin's claim has "absolutely no merit". On September 28, 2007, a Los Angeles federal court jury rejected Martin's claim that Jarmusch and Focus Films stole the screenplay from Martin.
Box office 
The film was released theatrically on August 5, 2005 earning $780,408 from 27 theatres. After 15 weeks in release, the movie ended with a domestic total of $13,744,960. The film fared much better internationally, taking in $32,975,531 to bring its total gross to $46,720,491.
Critical reception 
At the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, the film was nominated for the Palme d'Or and won the Grand Prix. The film was very well received by critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 88% of critics liked the film, based on 184 reviews, with the site's consensus stating: "Bill Murray's subtle and understated style complements director Jim Jarmusch's minimalist storytelling in this quirky, but deadpan comedy."
|Music from Broken Flowers|
|Soundtrack album by Various artists|
|Released||August 2, 2005|
|Genre||Jazz, rock, pop, soul, Reggae, classical|
The soundtrack to the film features an eclectic mix of music, chiefly using instrumentals by Ethiopian jazz artist Mulatu Astatke as the main score, mixed with garage rock (The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Greenhornes, Holly Golightly), stoner metal (Sleep), soul (Marvin Gaye), rocksteady reggae (The Tennors), and classical (Gabriel Fauré's Requiem).
- "There Is an End" (Holly Golightly with The Greenhornes) - 3:05
- "Yegelle Tezeta" (Mulatu Astatke) - 3:14
- "Ride Yu Donkey" (The Tennors) - 2:03
- "I Want You" (Marvin Gaye) - 3:57
- "Yekermo Sew" (Mulatu Astatke) - 4:03
- "Not if You Were the Last Dandy on Earth" (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) - 2:49
- "Tell Me Now So I Know" (Holly Golightly) - 2:02
- Written by Ray Davies
- "Gubèlyé" (Mulatu Astatke) - 4:35
- "Dopesmoker" (Sleep) - 3:57
- Abridged version of 63:31-minute track.
- Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 ("Pie Jesu") (Oxford Camerata) - 3:30
- Composed by Gabriel Fauré, fourth of seven-movement work.
- "Ethanopium" (Dengue Fever) - 4:38
- Instrumental, composed by Mulatu Astatke
- "Unnatural Habitat" (The Greenhornes) - 2:08
- Other songs in the film
Several songs in the film are not on the soundtrack album. They include:
- "Dreams" by The Allman Brothers Band
- "El Bang Bang" - Jackie Mittoo
- "Playboy Cha-Cha" - Mulatu Astatke
- "Mascaram Setaba" - Mulatu Astatke
- "Aire" (Pavan A 5 in C Minor) composed by William Lawes, performed by Fretwork
- "Fantasy" (A 6 in F Major) composed by William Lawes, performed by Fretwork
- "Alone in the Crowd" - Mulatu Astatke
- http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=brokenflowers.htm Box Office Mojo, "Broken Flowers"
- Homer Murray at Internet Movie Database (retrieved on December 14, 2006)
- "Filming locations for Broken Flowers (2005)". Retrieved 2010-09-04.
- "Marriott Wayne hotels in Parsippany, New Jersey". Expedia.com. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
- Kahn, Joseph P. July 3, 2006. "Shattered dreams", Boston Globe (retrieved via International Herald Tribune on August 28, 2007).
- City News Service
- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412019/releaseinfo - Broken Flowers (2005) - Release dates
- http://movies.ign.com/objects/755/755777.html - IGN: Broken Flowers Trailer, Wallpaper, Pictures, Soundtrack and More
- Box Office Mojo
- "Festival de Cannes: Broken Flowers". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
- Broken Flowers Movie Reviews, Pictures at Rotten Tomatoes (retrieved on May 15, 2010)
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Broken Flowers|
- Broken Flowers at the Internet Movie Database
- Broken Flowers at AllRovi
- Broken Flowers at Box Office Mojo
- Broken Flowers at Rotten Tomatoes
|Grand Prix, Cannes