: The Brother’s Bloom
I have a love-hate relationship with con artist movies. Much of the time they are too clever for their own good, becoming so convoluted they lose any thread of story. Often I’m so aware of being deceived that I give up caring. I feared that in this one, but I’m glad to say that this film, though it treads the line at times, succeeds. The key is what happens at the very beginning, when the younger Bloom brother can’t get up the courage to talk to a girl so his older brother invents an elaborate scam and gives him a role to play. With a script, so to speak, the younger Bloom blossoms, and that becomes their life. Unfortunately, by the time he’s 35, he feels he’s never actually lived, and longs for “an unscripted life.” The script is brilliant: for as the brothers go to pull off one last con we are reminded that the best cons are when everyone gets what they want, so how can Bloom get an unscripted life? The object of their con is, of course, a woman: a wonderfully quirky woman, and of course Bloom falls in love, against the script’s rules, and that sets up a marvelous adventure. I won’t spoil the story with any more details, but if you’re a fan of con films, I must conclude that this is the ultimate one. That’s because instead of just coning money or even coning bad people for good reasons, this film is all about con artists coning themselves. That’s the ultimate con: a con so good even they believe it. Terrific. Strongly recommended.