This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


The week’s critic wrangle: Broken Flowers in 2046.

Posted by on

"In love you can't bring on a substitute."+ "2046": At last! Wong Kar Wai‘s ages-in-the-making sequel to his beloved 2000 film "In the Mood for Love" (a fact everyone dances around, feeling the need to bracket the term in quotation marks or preface it with "unofficial": it’s very clearly a sequel, people) makes its voluptuous way into limited release today. Michael Atkinson and Manohla Dargis are fondest: La Manohla calls it an "unqualified triumph" and notes it’s much improved from the yet-unfinished version that premiered at Cannes in 2004. Atkinson finds that the film’s power lies in its still-living state, in the sense that it has only been abandoned and will forever be unfinished, though he frets that "the movie seems like one of those culminating über-works after which careers often fade to black—has Wong made the definitive Wongian film?"

Let us agree that use of the word "Wongian" should be strongly discouraged from here on out.

Even Armond White, that cranky bastard, loves it, finding it a refutation of academic theory about the camera representing the male gaze, and, more simply, "all sublimnity." Andrew O’Hehir has a few reservations about the film:  "I found the decadent loveliness of ‘2046’ irresistible, but the morning after I felt a little rueful, as if I’d gone to a party and Wong had given me some really good drugs." She declares it needlessly murky, with symbolism that doesn’t add up to anything solid, but says it’s still "among the most beautiful and most mysterious movies I’ve ever seen." Scott Foundas thinks the film is unnecessary, an emotionally chilly, stylish reiteration of themes expressed better in "In the Mood for Love," a film that was, for him, "close to perfect."

Bill Murray, tragic clown.+ "Broken Flowers": There seems to be an unspoken agreement amongst critics that Jim Jarmusch can do no wrong, and Bill Murray has ascended to some greater plane of acting awesomeness lately, so it’s hardly surprising that almost everyone has a ringing endorsements for this meeting of the two masters of deadpan. David Edelstein declares Murray’s "Broken Flowers"

the crowning performance in what I call Bill Murray’s Loneliness
Trilogy, which consists of Broken Flowers, Lost in Translation, and The
Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. In his melancholy, he’s funny; in his
funniness, he’s at sea: The ironic hipster clown has become God’s
loneliest man.

"No actor is better than Bill Murray as doing nothing at all, and being fascinating while not doing it," says Roger Ebert, who goes on to wonder what, exactly, a Bill Murray imitation would look like and if it would be even possible. A. O. Scott salutes the film’s deceptive complexity of emotions and its refusal to tie things up neatly. Jessica Winter enjoys it, though she points out that it flirts with "About Schmidt"-style sneering at middle American on occasion. Winter also notes that certain female performers in the film have had plastic surgery that verges on the grotesque — Edelstein and Stephanie Zacharek come right out and name names, with Zacharek interjecting: "Jessica Lange (whose wonderful face, unfortunately, has lost much of its character, presumably thanks to the dread Hollywood scalpel)."

Matt Zoller Seitz, who clearly worships at the altar of Jarmusch, decides that "Broken Flowers" "doesn’t function simultaneously on five or six levels like Jarmusch’s amazing Dead Man. Most of the time it settles for one and a half." Jonathan Rosenbaum also finds it not quite up to the director’s greatest work. Scott Foundas defends the film from its detractors who would label it a compromise, or too commercial. And David Denby, who seems to be the least predisposed to like Jarmusch, admires the film’s craft but is left cold, ultimately finding it "an art object without the energy or courage to be a work of art."

A correction: We accidentally credited Andrew O’Hehir’s “2046” review to Stephanie Zacharek. It’s been fixed, and, also, we suck.

Watch More

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

Posted by on

The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

Watch More

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

Posted by on

Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Watch More

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

Watch More