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Comedies > Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno

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message 1: by Ceci (last edited Jul 16, 2009 11:28AM) (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments Well, seen Scaha Baron Cohen's brilliant comedy Brüno and I LOVED it! It's incredibly funny, even more hilarious than Borat. I've never laughed as much at anything, and certainly not any movie. I laughed till my stomach hurt. It's incredible and Sacha Baron Cohen's comic timing and his sheer physical comedy is incredible. That man's a genius! And brave, too... Some of those situations he got into could have truly gotten him killed or at least seriously injured.

There are so many verbal jokes, so much slapstick, unbelievably funny gags that there's not one boring moment... I really did laugh all through it and just simply enjoyed it immensely. This man who was born into a Orthodox Jew family and went on to Cambridge to study history is probably the most talented and the most courageous comedian ever lived. Five stars, and this will always be one of my favorite movies. I kept on starting to laugh on my way home from the cinema, too, remembering some of the jokes, and got some very strange looks. I especially remembered the Harrison Ford interview and the dance before it...

Caveat lector: This movie's DEFINITELY not for everyone and it may offend some people, seriously. But I truly loved it and have never laughed as much in my whole life.

Here's the film's trailer for those who've not seen it yet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAGpmN...




message 2: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5485 comments I saw the film last night, and was not taken with it at all. I'd enjoyed BORAT a great deal, but BRUNO feels like diminishing returns. Yeah, there were some laughs, and the old magic worked in a couple of places, but ultimately I just felt creeped out and depressed at the end of it, which may be the idea, of course. Such a dank and ugly film.


message 3: by Ceci (last edited Jul 17, 2009 12:15PM) (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments Well, Brüno shows just how ignorant and prejudiced some people can be but I think this is a very important, exceptionally brilliant film. I really love it. SBC makes fun of everyone, but the main target are always the bigoted, hateful people.

He's such a wonderful comedian. I wonder what he'll do next... He's the best part of Burton's Sweeney Todd, so might re-watch that next.


message 4: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5485 comments Yeah, just what I didn't need, a reminder of how completely stupidly bigoted so much of this country is, including our president. It just made me sick and depressed at the extremity of the idiocy here. As I said above, that may be the point, and it may be one of the best satires yet on U.S., but I'm thinking that my reaction means that it hit a bit too close to home for me.

As it is, I'll never set foot in Alabama again, not that I really planned on going there anyway.




message 5: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments It's a brilliant satire, but I do see what you mean, Tom. It is tragic that there are such horrible, bigoted, stupid people out there. But it's their loss really -- who'd want to live like that, or be like them? The tragedy is that they don't realize how awful they are. Sacha Baron Cohen's holding a mirror to their face and I bet they don't like what they see! He's achieved via humor what could not be done with gazillion well-meaning books and speeches that mean f*ck all.

It's a brilliant film. I wish I could show it at schools here. (Brüno's rated 15 here.) Occasionally, students want to discuss gay issues and this would be a fine way to reveal the homophobia that's still prevalent in the U.S. and many other countries, too. It's a shame, but without brave filmmakers like SBC, it'll never change. This is such an important movie. Just like SBC criticized antisemitism in Borat, he now criticizes homophobia, and with such courage. Not everyone will get it, but I hope many enough do.




message 6: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments i've traveled through alabama a few times on tour...i have no desire to go back. i get the creeps thinking about it.

my apologies to any (nice) people on the list who live there.


message 7: by Ceci (last edited Jul 17, 2009 03:54PM) (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments I've never been to Alabama (have some family in the South, though, and they currently live in Texas... before that, in Florida and in Mississippi) but I do have one dear online friend there. She's smart and very cool, and not a bigot at all.

Anyhow, I guess that there are bigots and idiots everywhere, in every country and in every state. What Sacha Baron Cohen's doing is exposing them and making us all re-evaluate what we think, about so many things -- not just gays or Jews, or celebrity adoptions. He's certainly outrageous, but also incredibly intelligent, hilarious and just in a league of his own when it comes to comedy of all kinds; physical, political and emotional. I never laughed as much as when watching Brüno, but I also never thought as much about the message of any movie. It is really a very important film. You learn about yourself while you watch it, and that's certainly a wonderful thing. I think that in many ways, it is a liberating film -- or at least it can be.

Peter Travers of the Rolling Stone (who loved Brüno) wrote that his wife had been told she'd not get a refund if she did not like the movie. I guess that some people just won't give the film the chance it deserves or are quite unable to receive its message, which is, simply put, one of love, acceptance and incredible fun. It's really got a good heart, Brüno. :)


message 8: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5485 comments Sorry, Cissy, I don't see much of a good heart in the movie. It is far too ugly and brutal a revelation of the horrors lurking in this country and the grotesque stupidity of pretty much every level of society, at least the ones on display in the film. Swiftian, certainly, more of a howl of rage than a message of love and acceptance, which I simply don't see as being a part of this film at all.


message 9: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments Hmmm. Well, I guess that every viewer sees a film differently, just as every reader has a different experience of a book. All are valid interpretations. That's really the best part of it.


Stormi (BMReviewsohmy) (bmreviewsohmy) | 96 comments I could care less if it was about homosexuals, I thought the movie was gross and people should have been worned about the content (nudity) I know a few homosexuals and they don't act nothing like BRUNO!


message 11: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments Stormi, that's the whole point.


Stormi (BMReviewsohmy) (bmreviewsohmy) | 96 comments The whole point was the was acting stupid because that is what people think gay people act like...if I was a homosexual I would be offended.


message 13: by Ceci (last edited Jul 18, 2009 06:07AM) (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments No... It's satire. It's making some stupid and ignorant people's prejudices visible. No-one in their right mind would assume gays behave like Brüno. The movie's poking fun at bigots, religious zealots, "gay converters" (oh for God's sake!!!) and homophobes. It's totally over the top. And what comes to you knowing a few homosexuals -- you probably know really very many of them. They look just like you and I, and behave totally normally.

But not everyone will get a movie like Brüno, which is what I said earlier. It is brilliant, though. And for a good cause.


message 14: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5485 comments My respect for the movie has grown over the last few days, in that it took nerve for Cohen to make such a relentlessly unpleasant movie that takes no prisoners whatsoever, on either side of the spectrum.

We all know gay men who aren't Brunos. I myself am a gay man who is not a Bruno. But I have known Brunos, I have worked with Brunos, you can take it from me that Bruno walks among us. I have known Brunos who were saints on earth and I have known Brunos who I wouldn't have trusted to tell me the time of day. I don't think the movie is in any way saying that all gay men are like that. The movie walks a rather difficult line in making Bruno into such a flaming idiot, in that I can never quite tell whether people's outrage towards him is based solely on homophobia or just his total awfulness. There are times when I simply couldn't blame people for getting pissed at Bruno, from Ron Paul to the members of the swingers club he visits who are rather understandably disturbed at Bruno's behavior.

No doubt about the film's good intentions, though. But an extremely ugly and complicated movie, one that I'm not sure like very much at all. Maybe the single darkest and most savage satire on American mores since DR. STRANGELOVE.


message 15: by Ceci (last edited Jul 18, 2009 08:41AM) (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments It's a very savage and intelligent satire, Tom, I agree, but I did not in fact find Brüno the person awful. He's a funny caricature but he's also likable and sympathetic in his quirkiness (like Borat was too), and he does find a certain kind of a redemption at the end (won't get into what kind as that would spoil half the fun of watching it). In that sense, it's also like a love story, and a journey for Brüno. That's what I meant by the film's good heart. It's of course ironic and satirical, but still.

I must say I don't know the gay culture that well at all, but I do have a few very close and dear friends and also colleagues who are gays (men and women). None of them's a Brüno, though, which is a pity as I'd love to meet someone like that. It could get wearisome, but would be refreshing, too.

I didn't find the movie unpleasant at all. It's at times outrageous but it's always hilarious... and its target are indeed the homophobes, just like Borat's targets were the xenophobes and the antisemites. And even that's not saying that there couldn't be foreigners or Kazakhs like Borat... just that the fun is poked at the bigots.

Sacha Baron Cohen's incredibly brave... and while not everyone will get the message of the movie, many enough hopefully will. It's complex, I know, but all the best comedy is that way. Laughter's always got the dark and savage side, too. This time its intentions are good and right, unlike in many seemingly "harmless" comedies that do nothing but strengthen ugly stereotypes.


message 16: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5485 comments Yeah, looks like we disagree about Bruno the alleged person. I thought he was just vile, a totally empty boob with no sense or taste or any real redeeming qualities whatsoever, he's basically a male Paris Hilton without the money. I didn't find his journey at all positive. Like Paris Hilton, he's after one thing: fame. I don't see any redemption at the end at all, none of any real importance. He's just as vapid and inane as ever, as that idiotic final song/video demonstrates.

So what exactly is the message of the movie? Aside from the awfulness of each and every human being in it, I'm having a hard time finding one.

I'm not trying to corner you, or to pick a fight here, I'm just trying to understand what you mean.


message 17: by Ceci (last edited Jul 18, 2009 02:35PM) (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments The message, as such, is that homophobia is silly and ugly. The character of Brüno is the mirror image of those prejudices, and as for him being "just vile," as you say... well, he does have redeeming qualities, too. Now follow SPOILERS, so please look away unless you want to read some of the key plot twists (this is why I didn't explain what I meant more in my last post).

He loves his son OJ, in his own way -- you see how he's heartbroken after losing him. And, at the end, he does realize that looks and glitter are not all that matter when he falls in love with Lutz, and starts a family with him. Lutz is far from fashionable, nor is he good-looking, and still Bruno wants to marry him. And he becomes a "dove of peace." Sure, he's also a celeb, which is what he always wanted, but that isn't really the point. (Any more than it's for someone like Bono...)

Bruno as a character is not really ugly or vile -- he's holding up the mirror for the homophobes and the rest of the hypocrites, and the fashion-obsessed airheads. He's what they perceive a gay character to be, only more outrageous. As a character, he is certainly extremely vain and silly, but one also feels sympathy towards him when he loses his job, then his baby, and later his only friend, Lutz.

Sacha Baron Cohen's such a brilliant actor... and because of his immense talent, Bruno is an open book: all his emotions can be read on his face, and via his body language. I did feel sorry for him, and was happy for him at the end. Also, he's "only nineteen" so much can be forgiven. And as for that video, I think it made fun of the whole celebs helping the world thing. Just as much as the two bimbos who adviced Bruno on what would be a fashionable cause at the moment.

And yes, Bruno's far more likable than Paris Hilton!


message 18: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5485 comments SPOILERS -- beware!

Looks like we disagree on Bruno's likability. I found him an absolute horror, a fashion-obsessed airhead. I felt no sympathy for him at all, least of all when he so cruelly dumps Lutz. The whole "dove of peace" thing at the end just struck me as inane, a ridiculously empty gesture (deliberately and hilariously so, of course, on Cohen's part), one that only underscored Bruno's inanity and total vapidity.

I certainly saw no real affection at all for baby OJ, clearly being used as a mere accessory. His heartbreak didn't move me: he'd react to the loss of a Louis Vuitton bag in the same manner. The child wasn't mentioned again until he re-appeared at the end, completely implausibly. How did he get baby OJ back? Likewise the "marriage" to Lutz at the end. A husband is only the most uptodate gay accessory. He's "nineteen" like I'm nineteen, but it's probably an accurate gage of his emotional age, and about his I.Q. as well.

The one single positive thing I can see in him is that he finally dispenses with the bogus heterosexuality he puts on. There's something oddly moving, I guess, in the whole wrestling match sequence when they pay no attention to the screaming hordes of morons outside the cage. If only the love being affirmed had been shown of being of any value at all, between two people who weren't idiots.

Agreed about Cohen's brilliance as an actor.


message 19: by Ceci (last edited Jul 18, 2009 03:48PM) (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments SPOILERS...

He got baby OJ back by switching him for a MacBook Pro, he said... :) So I guess OJ's new adoptive parents weren't too good, either. I do think Brüno loved OJ, in his way, and Lutz, too. Of course, he'd still be Brüno, and over the top, but I did find him likable, especially at the end, and thought he'd learned a thing or two. And, like in all classic fairytales, finally, after all the trials and tribulations, he'd won his princess (or, rather, queen... sorry! lol) and half the kingdom. This tale just has a different twist.

Really, there are so many layers to this movie, that I only appreciate it even more (if possible!) after discussing it with you. SBC's a true genius!


message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim Cherry (jymwrite) Art can't always be beautiful paintings of apples on a table or a nice snowy mountain. Art is supposed to be a reflection & like Dorian Gray in the portrait sometimes it's not beautiful but needs to be exposed. Art is also supposed to upset us, to make us think, & discuss...


message 21: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments as shostakovich once said, if you're not upsetting half your audience, you're not doing your job.


Stormi (BMReviewsohmy) (bmreviewsohmy) | 96 comments Jim wrote: "Art can't always be beautiful paintings of apples on a table or a nice snowy mountain. Art is supposed to be a reflection & like Dorian Gray in the portrait sometimes it's not beautiful but needs t..."

Guess that is why I am not a huge art lover. :)


message 23: by Ceci (last edited Jul 19, 2009 04:52PM) (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments Well said, Jim! That's very true. Not only is Sacha Baron Cohen making movies that are really important and for the good cause (making fun of bigots, racists, homophobes and the lot), but he's also advancing comedy and its methods. No-one's taking guerrilla comedy further, nor with a greater talent.

I can't wait for what he'll do next... It won't be with Borat or Brüno or Ali G (they showed Ali G here as soon as it aired in the UK) as those are all recognizable characters worldwide now, but something different. But whatever it is, I know it'll be brilliant. He can act in serious roles, too, and was the best thing in Burton's Sweeney Todd, so I wonder if he'll do that next (i.e. play a straight character -- no pun intended).

Btw, I read somewhere that Baron Cohen did his thesis on the Jewish participation in the American Civil Rights Movement... he went to the South to work on the thesis, and perhaps that's why he has returned there in his movies, too.

Oh and I have in fact lived in Israel for a year in 1999-2000. The scene in Jerusalem was just DELIGHTFUL!!! :) And that made by the son of a devout Orthodox Jewish family. Amazing.





message 24: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments And Phillip, that's an excellent point! For a filmmaker like SBC, upset and outrage of the audience are part of the deal. I guess you either love his work or hate it. And I do love it!


message 25: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments Sacha Baron Cohen's threatened by terrorists

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Entertainme...

Sigh... Brüno's a work of comic genius and it's so depressing that certain groups (and not just this one either) are unable to appreciate its brilliance. But in a sense, that shows it works.


message 26: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments I just watched Bruno again, on dvd, with enhanced commentary by SBC and director Larry Charles. It's one of the very best commentaries ever, highly recommended! The other extras on the dvd are amazing too. Truly wonderful.


message 27: by Marc (new)

Marc (authorguy) | 325 comments It's one of the very best commentaries ever, highly recommended!
get the DVD for Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog. Two commentaries, one of them a whole separate musical.


message 28: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments Thanks for the recommendation, Marc! I might just do that. :)The region 2 dvd is not yet available, but I signed up to be notified on Amazon UK.


message 29: by Ceci (last edited Dec 19, 2009 01:30PM) (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments Lori, the main point of the movie is that of course gay men are not like that. It's those ignorant, bigoted real people that Sacha is making fun of, not gays. Those people truly believe that a character as unbelievable as Bruno could actually exist.

The movie makes fun of the racist, bigoted, gun-crazy white trash, the religious right, the "gay converters" (for God's sake!!!) and the celebs who do good things, i.e. adopt from the third world, sing inane songs and pick different causes to promote just to further their own career.

Sacha Baron Cohen's a genius. Do watch Bruno with the commentary, it's very enlightening, and says basically the same things I did earlier on in this thread as to the message of the movie. Love SBC, but of course, not everyone will. That's ok, too. :)


message 30: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments Lori, it's satire. Not everyone's cup of tea... but he is awesome. The most courageous and original of comics.

Btw, I'm no kid. ;)


message 31: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments ... but hey, don't take my word for it. Here's old Roger's review, and he's certainly an elderly person, and a bit of an icon.

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/p...

I think he really sums it up nicely. :) And as for white trash... well, they sort of tend to be bigoted and gun-crazy. Btw, SBC wrote his thesis on the Jewish involvement in the Civil Rights Movement in the South. I think that (and his Jewish background) probably makes him attack intolerance in all its forms, and I do truly appreciate that. He's equally tough on everyone.


message 32: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 529 comments Ok, thanks I guess. :D


message 33: by Dylan (new)

Dylan (greendragon06) | 13 comments I have this movie on dvd (I got it for Christmas) and I can't wait to watch it...from the sounds of this conversation, I will love it.


message 34: by Tina (new)

Tina I just recently saw Bruno and alternately laughed and cringed. Regards the Ron Paul and Paula Abdul, I questioned not the effect that Bruno had on them but how the heck they got into the situation in the first place?

I am always curious about how SBC gets people to go along with his set pieces. What were his credentials that made Ron Paul go into that room in the first place? And then you have Paula. I was sure that the minute he said she should sit on that guy that she's leave. But then she sat down and used this guy as a chair. Same with the people in the Richard bey audience. All the time they panned to the audience I tried to see if at least one person was getting that it was a put on.

So as I watch it I am not so much drawn in by his character but how credulous people can be and how they let themselves get pulled into uncomfortable situations. And yeah, the stage parents were insanely frightening.


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