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Broken Flowers - Preview & Cannes reaction



Preview by: Jack Foley

BILL Murray seems to be getting better and better with age, if the quality of his last few films has been anything to go by.

Having mesmerised in Lost in Translation, the star then went on to headline The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and delivered another personal tour-de-force.

At this year's Cannes Film Festival he showed critics he was on form yet again, in Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers (which emerged as one of the apparent highlights).

The film focuses on Murray's resolutely single Don Johnston, just after he has been dumped by his latest lover, Sherry.

Rather than resigning himself to being alone, Don reflects on his past when he receives a mysterious pink letter by mail from an anonymous former lover.

Rather like one of The Life Aquatics' story arcs, the letter informs him that he has a 19-year-old son who may now be looking for him.

Compelled to investigate further by his closest friend, Winston, Don subsequently embarks on a cross-country trek in search of clues from four former flames.

 

He therefore visits each of these unique women unnanounced, with each meeting holding new surprises for Don.

Promoting the film at Cannes, Murray confessed to finding the material slightly 'unsettling' even though it had been written with him in mind.

He compared the film to being like trying to learn to swing on a trapeze and observed dryly that tracking down old flames was not something to be recommended.

"For six weeks, trying it with four different actresses, I found it to be unsettling and disturbing," he told a press conference.

"But I think about people in my past a lot. I think we all have someone in our past who you think maybe I didn't give them, or maybe I didn't give myself much of a chance."

The film's director, Jarmusch, is thrilled with the results, however, and said that working with Murray was something that he had been seeking to do for several years.

He described the character of Don as someone that 'Bill could embody well'.

Critics agreed, with judges at Cannes subsequently awarding it the Grand Prix award - the runner-up for best film.

It co-stars Sharon Stone, Jessica Lange, Tilda Swinton, Frances Conroy and Julie Delpy.

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