Broken Flowers: A Dive Into Ambiguity

Broken Flowers: A Dive Into Ambiguity

Ambiguity is at the heart of the Jim Jarmusch movie "Broken Flowers", and the same goes with relationships and wine.

A pink letter sets off the aging "Don Juan" main character, Don Johnston--a name obviously chosen to evoke a famous "Don Juan"--in search of his exes to find out who among them sent the letter. In the process he discovers all his exes are living lives opposite and strange to how he knew them.

One ex lives with a flirty teenage daughter--named Lolita!--who walks fully naked in the living room. The second, whom he knew as a wild, flower child, now lives a conservative life in the suburbs working as a realtor selling prefab homes with her husband. The third, whom he knew as an ambitious lawyer, is a professional "animal communicator", with an ambiguously overprotective secretary. The fourth lives in a rural cabin with bikers that beat him up and left him unconscious in the middle of a field. The fifth turned out to be dead.

When Don returns home, we see him back in his living room finishing a bottle of Moet White Star Champagne, in possession of another pink letter.

In the end, Don Johnston's search turned out nothing, except more ambiguity. Was the kid, whom he tried to befriend, the answer to his search? Or was it the other kid who cruises by in a VW Beetle and stares long at him, in the final scene, the real answer?

Jarmusch is not really concerned about answers. Real life and relationships are ambiguous. And so is wine worth sipping, like the extraordinary 2020 Lissner Pinot Gris that I finished while watching this movie. An ambiguously red wine from a white grape. Find it at Vineyard Gate!

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