The Brothers Bloom (2008) Poster


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  • The Brothers Bloom was based on a screenplay by American screenwriter and director Rian Johnson. Three of Johnson's primary influences were big con movies like The Sting (1973) (1973), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) (1988), and Paper Moon (1973) (1973), the story of Depression era con-man Moses Pray and his maybe/maybe-not daughter Addie Loggins. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Yes. At the very beginning of the movie, a caseworker can be seen opening a file cabinet and pulling out the files on young Stephen and Bloom. The file is tagged "Bloom (2)", suggesting that there must be a "Bloom (1)". However, the three main characters in this movie are based on characters from Irish writer James Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses, which in turn is based on the Odyssey, written by epic B.C. Greek poet Homer. In Ulysses, Stephen Daedalus is a writer; in the movie, Stephen Bloom (Mark Ruffalo) plans his cons with a writer's flair. In Joyce's novel, Leopold Bloom wanders around Dublin, trying to find himself and his way back to his wife; in the movie, Bloom the younger (Adrien Brody) is figuratively looking for himself and ultimately finds his way to Penelope Stamp (Rachel Weisz). In The Odyssey, Penelope is Odysseus' wife who waits for him through all of his wanderings. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The Brothers Bloom was filmed in various locations in Montenegro, Serbia, Romania, and in the city of Praque in the Czech Republic. A map of Eastern Europe, showing these countries, can be viewed here. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The only reference to what Bloom's first name might be comes from a con in which Stephen calls him "Victor." Whether that's his real name or only a contrived name for the con is unknown. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • $1,000,000. The additional $1,750,000 went to the Russians as ransom. But a third of the first $1,000,000 went to Bang Bang or the Serbian. Maybe the Serbian was in for a fixed amount. They also cost her car repair for the bike and dock accidents. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • In the director's commentary on the DVD, Rian Johnson discusses this issue. In his original conception of the film, he meant for Diamond Dog (Maximilian Schell) to have a history of sexually abusing Bloom (2), which explains why Bloom hates him so much. Other than a moment where Diamond Dog touches Bloom's leg, however, the sexual abuse scenario was cut. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • According to the director, Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi) hates Barbie dolls. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Bloom apparently doesn't think so, as he tells Stephen that Bang Bang escaped in the blast. Most viewers contend that Bang Bang escaped on the truck that passed in front of her car seconds before the car exploded. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Bloom follows the ransom note to a theater where he finds a bloodied Stephen being held captive by Diamond Dogs' men. Bloom asks Stephen whether or not this is yet another con, but Stephen tells Bloom simply to run. A gunfight breaks out, and Stephen is shot in the back. As Stephen lay dying on the floor, Bloom asks him again whether this is another con. Suddenly, Stephen rolls over, jumps up, and assures Bloom that this is his final wow. They hug each other, and Stephen makes Bloom promise to never return to St Petersburg, to take Penelope to Rio, to tell her that they're on the run from vengeful Russians, to play it like Stephen is dead, and he promises that he'll catch up with Bloom later. As Bloom leaves the theater, Stephen holds up a deck of cards and asks Bloom to pick one. Stephen cuts the deck and displays the Queen of Hearts, and Bloom admits it's the best card trick he's ever seen. "Wish you had a bigger audience," Bloom says, and Stephen replies, "You're the only audience I ever needed." After telling Stephen, "I love you", Bloom joins Penelope in the car, and they drive away. Meanwhile, Stephen has pulled a chair onto the stage, sits down on it, and dies, more blood dripping from his cuff. Somewhat later, Bloom notices that the stage blood on his shirt cuff has turned brown and realizes that it was the real thing. He asks Penelope to pull the car off the road, and he cries in her arms. In the final scene, Penelope tells Bloom that Stephen once told her, "There's no such thing as an unwritten life...just a badly written one." She assures him that they're going to live like they're telling the best story in the whole world. In a final voiceover, Bloom remembers Stephen's assertion that the best con is the one in which everyone gets what they wanted. He and Penelope return to the car and drive off in the sunset. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • In the final scenes, Stephen pulls up a chair, sits down, and appears to die. Whether or not he is really dead is up to a viewer's discretion. In the DVD commentary, however, director Rian Johnson refers to Stephen as dying. The fact that only real blood turns brown is a further indication that what just happened was not a con. But just as dead men tell no tales, they also drag no chairs. It seems evident that Stephen sits bleeding with no help on the way, and it is probably safe to presume he's dead as he goes limp. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Bloom got Penelope (and vice versa) and an unwritten future. Stephen got to pull the perfect con: he told a story so well it became true, and he, Bloom, and Penelope get what they want. Most importantly, Stephen "just wanted Bloom to be happy." (There is a bit of irony in the statement, "Bloom, the day I con you is the day I die,") Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The importance is the color of the blood. Early in the movie, Stephen mentions that real blood turns brown an hour or so after it is spilled whereas stage blood stays red. The fact that the blood on Bloom's shirt and cuff looks brown tells him that it was real blood and that Stephen wasn't pulling another con. Edit (Coming Soon)


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