The Brothers Bloom
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Welcome to the world of The Brothers Bloom; where deception is an art and nothing is as it seems. The brothers have perfected the art of swindling fortunes through years of fraternal teamwork. Now they've decided to take on one last spectacular job luring a beautiful and eccentric heiress into an elaborate plot that takes them around the world. For as long as they can remember; the Brothers Bloom have had only each other to depend on. From their childhood in a long series of gloomy foster homes to their highflying lives as international con artists; Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) have shared everything. Stephen brilliantly concocts intricate stories that the brothers live out; but hes still searching for the perfect con; the one where everyone gets what they want. Meanwhile; Bloom yearns for an unwritten life a real adventure; one not dreamed up by his old brother. Eager to retire; Bloom agrees to take part in one last grand scam. He insinuates himself into the life of Penelope (Rachel Wiesz); a bored; single New Jersey heiress. When a genuine romance begins to blossom between them; he is reluctant to exploit her naivet; but Penelope has already taken the bait: She impulsively joins Bloom; Stephen and their associate; a sexy Japanese explosives expert named Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi); on an ocean liner to Greece. Penelope is convinced shes happened upon the adventure of a lifetime and offers to bankroll a million dollar deal. As the quartet makes their way from Athens to Prague to Mexico to St. Petersburg; Penelope quickly becomes addicted to the illicit thrills. But as Stephens elaborate web of deceit pulls tighter; Bloom begins to wonder if his brother has devised the most dangerous con of his life.
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This film probes deeply into what can go wrong when the love is strong but the liking is almost non-existent. Many of the scenes are whimsical and the whimsy is deftly handled, but when issues become serious, the film rises effortlessly to seriousness. The performances of the three principal players are incandescent, with Mark Ruffalo especially convincing. This is character-driven cinema at its very best - and rewarding. One other element that I really, really enjoyed and it is one of the most unusual aspects of any film in my memory, that is, many scenes are filmed in such a way that the setting COULD BE the nineteenth century. It's uncanny. I don't why this was done, but I loved the sheer virtuosity of it. Just another element of this film's wonder!
This was a little like Steve Martians movie "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" if you're open to that type of humor than you might enjoy this. But as I alluded to before this wasn't laugh out loud funny but the characters were much more engaging.
On the streaming side - I'm still having difficulty getting a full experience when that darn loading circle comes up every few minutes. I don't know if there is a way for Amazon to set it up so that the movie won't play until the whole thing is loaded but it definitely takes away from the hilarity when you have to wait 15-20 seconds for a punchline.