Broken Flowers

Broken Flowers

Infobox Film
name = Broken Flowers

caption = The movie poster.
director = Jim Jarmusch
producer = Jon Kilik
Stacey Smith
writer = Jim Jarmusch
(Inspired by an idea from Bill Raden and Sara Driver)
narrator =
starring = Bill Murray
Jeffrey Wright
Sharon Stone
Jessica Lange
Tilda Swinton
Frances Conroy
Julie Delpy
Alexis Dziena
music =
cinematography = Frederick Elmes
editing = Jay Rabinowitz
distributor = Focus Features
released = flagicon|United States August 5, 2005
runtime = 105 min.
country = US
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:325257
imdb_id = 0412019

"Broken Flowers" is a 2005 comedy-drama film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch and produced by Jon Kilik and Stacey Smith. Its main actors are Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Tilda Swinton, Julie Delpy, and Mark Webber.

It was filmed in Rockland County and Westchester County, New York, as well as in New Jersey. [ [] ]

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.


The main character, Don Johnston (Bill Murray), is a former "Don Juan" who wants to live in quiet retirement, having made a small fortune in the computer industry. 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, he reads the letter: it purports to be from an unnamed former girlfriend, informing him that he has a 19-year-old son 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, gives Don the information (along with maps, MapQuest print-outs, and air flight reservations), urges him to visit them, and tells Don that he will drive him to the airport the next morning.

* Laura (Sharon Stone) works as a closet and drawer organizer and is the widow of a race car driver. She has a young daughter Lolita (Alexis Dziena), a teenager, who flirts with Don and once appears completely naked in front of him.
* Dora (Frances Conroy) is a realtor. Once a "flower child" of the 1960s, she apparently hasn't been reconciled to her present life: she appears nervous and melancholic. Her husband, Ron (Christopher McDonald), invites Don to an awkward dinner.
* Carmen (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. There are also hints that she may be involved in a lesbian relationship with her receptionist (Chloë Sevigny).
* Penny (Tilda Swinton) lives in a rural area amongst tawdry motorcycle enthusiasts. Having left Don years ago, she doesn't have any desire to reconcile with him now. When Don asks her whether she has a son, she becomes enraged. Don is beaten by her friends as a result.He awakens the next morning in his rental car in the middle of a field. He has a nasty cut around his left eye as a result of the confrontation.

Don then stops at a florist to buy flowers from a friendly and attractive young woman named Sun Green (Pell James) who bandages his cut. He 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. (Earlier Don told Winston he had loved Michelle — his only mention of love throughout the film.) As he kneels at her gravestone he softly says "Hello, beautiful."

Disillusioned, 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 upset and flees.

As Don looks on, 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 [ [ Homer Murray] at Internet Movie Database (retrieved on December 14, 2006)] — is listening to the music which Don himself has been listening to throughout the movie. Both the young man Don buys lunch for and the one in the car are wearing track suits like Don's. The young man in the car holds unblinking eye contact with Don while the car drives on and away. Don is left standing in the middle of the road.

In the end, none of the mysteries posed by the film are resolved.Don ends his journey no closer to discovering which of the women wrote the letter, and there's even a suggestion that Sherry sent the letter to cause Don an existential crisis. It's unclear whether the young man in the Volkswagen is Don's son, or if Don has reached a point where he'll wonder whether every boy he sees might be his son. The last moment has the camera spinning around Don's head (a full 360° rotation) with a blank expression on his face.


"Broken Flowers" opened August 5, 2005 in the USA in a limited release.

tylistic trademarks

In many ways "Broken Flowers" marks a new direction for Jarmusch. The story is relatively fast-paced compared to Jarmusch' previous films. Another big difference with previous films is the fact the protagonist portrayed by Bill Murray is set on a quest and even has found a new goal in life. In many of Jarmusch' films, the protagonists don't have a specific direction and we meet them at a certain, but rather random moment in life. in "Broken Flowers" we meet Don at the moment his girlfriend leaves him and soon after that he reads the letter of a former girlfriend with whom he conceived a child. The quest becomes finding the mother and his son. A third big difference with previous films is the rather fast editing and camera changes, as opposed to the long shots and takes of Jarmusch' previous films. Jarmusch did hire a different cinematographer.


At the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, the film was nominated for the "Palme d'Or" and won the "Grand Prix".


Screenwriter 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 denies the charges and stated in response that Martin's claim has "absolutely no merit." [Kahn, Joseph P. July 3, 2006. [ "Shattered dreams"] , "Boston Globe" (retrieved via "International Herald Tribune" on August 28, 2007).] On September 28, 2007, a Los Angeles federal court jury rejected Martin's claim that Jarmusch and Focus Films stole the screenplay from Martin. [City News Service]


Infobox Album
Name = Music from Broken Flowers
Type = soundtrack
Longtype =
Artist = various artists

Released = August 2, 2005
Recorded =
Genre = Jazz, rock, pop, soul, reggae, classical
Length = 38:01
Label = Decca
Producer =
Reviews = *Allmusic Rating|3.5|5 [ link]
Last album =
This album =
Next album =
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), stoner metal (Sleep), soul (Marvin Gaye), rocksteady reggae (The Tennors), classical (Gabriel Fauré's "Requiem") and easy-listening pop music (Holly Golightly).

Track listing

# "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" by Jackie Mittoo
* "Playboy Cha-Cha" by Mulatu Astatke
* "Mascaram Seteba" by 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" by Mulatu Astatke


The film's working title was "Dead Flowers" (as seen on the clapperboard in the "making-of" film in the DVD's extras). Director Jim Jarmusch generated writing what would be on 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."

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.


*Bill Murray – Don Johnston
*Jeffrey Wright – Winston
*Sharon Stone – Laura Daniels Miller
*Frances Conroy – Dora Anderson
*Christopher McDonald – Ron Anderson
*Jessica Lange – Dr. Carmen Markowski
*Tilda Swinton – Penny
*Julie Delpy – Sherry
*Alexis Dziena – Lolita Miller
*Chloë Sevigny – Carmen's Assistant
*Pell James – Sun Green
*Mark Webber – The Kid


External links

* [ Official site]
*imdb title|id=0412019|title=Broken Flowers
*rotten-tomatoes|id=broken_flowers|title=Broken Flowers
*mojo title|id=brokenflowers|title=Broken Flowers

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
title=Grand Prix, Cannes

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