The restless energy and quirky humor Jim Jarmusch brought to surreal road movies like Stranger Than Paradise and Night on Earth are on full display again in his latest quest story for hipsters. Here, a poker-faced, world-weary Bill Murray portrays a dour, aging ladies' man (named Don Johnston, wordplay on "Don Juan") on the hunt for the mother of his 19-year-old son, of whose existence he's just learned via a cryptic note on pink paper. In this strangely affecting, uncharacteristically star-studded film, Don visits no fewer than four possible mothers (Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, and Tilda Swinton), each furnished with the famous Jarmuschian oddity. But in the end we have no clear answers; instead, we're left with the fetching existential ambiguities that earned Flowers the top prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Contentedly independent, Jarmusch always throws a lot of off-speed stuff, and once more, that's his glory.
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