Braca Blum

Braca Blum – that’s Brothers Bloom in Serbian, if you really must know. A stylised con-com (confidence trick comedy), Bloom isn’t, to be honest, the kind of movie I’d normally rush out to see. But since it was made here in Serbia, and was premiering in Belgrade during the week – with the aimiable director Rian Johnson doing all sorts of hoop-jumping and glad-handing on behalf of our project – I thought I’d make the effort. And I really quite enjoyed it.

Orphans Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrian Brody) have been con artists since their childhood. Stephen, the podgy elder, designs the cons like an accomplished novelist. But emo younger brother Bloom yearns instead for an “unscripted life”.  Of course, the brothers must have “one last con”, the mark of which is a charmingly nutty New Jersey heiress, Penelope (Weisz). As things move from Jersey to Prague to Mexico and finally Russia (Serbia, Serbia, Romania, Montenegro, Prague, Serbia, Serbia), Bloom seems to discover real happiness in a romance with Penelope. But is it love, or is it a con?

I’ve gotten to the stage that every movie I watch, I’m checking out the locations and working out the backflips that would’ve been needed to shoot there. The film takes place in a sort of “everytime” but in fairly specific spaces. I therefore thought that Serbia did stand-in rather well. Interestingly though, Milica thought the Serbian locations distracting. I guess I’m reminded of my excoriating response to attempts to recreate England in Romania……