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Motherless Brooklyn - Film Review


by Emilia Ippolito

It sounds like a film set in Brooklyn, which it may also be, however Motherless Brooklyn is the protagonist’s nick name (Edward Norton)

Orphan Lionel Essrog is a ‘special’ detective : affected by Tourette Syndrome, a severe form of autism, he has a great capacity to memorise images, numbers, facts; he chooses to use all of this for his job: private detective for Frank Minna ( Bruce Willis), stylish owner of the detective agency.

Frank practically adopted the severely autistic orphan, becoming his father, mentor, family and only friend. Among others, Frank teaches the sensitive child how to put his neurological disorder, which has him twist in uncontrollable ticks, to good fruition.

So ‘freak’ Motherless Brooklyn cannot resign to Frank’s violent death and declares war to his killers
Naturally, as his master detective puzzle takes life, reality becomes more and more uncomfortable, with a few unexpected twists....

Anything else would be too big a spoiler, but let me share a few hints: local but powerful politicians - merciless Moses Randolf (Alec Baldwin), and his frustrated academic brother Paul (Willem Dafoe) reveal their triple face plus involvement with imported mafia, which also controls business and unions, Black / jazz singers are not what they seem to be...

Neither threat nor Harlem-Brooklyn mafia-powered occasional beatings can ever discourage brave detective genius Lionel aka Motherless Brooklyn, who finally solves the intricate puzzle, so gaining the well deserved respect... and even a new friend - Union activist mixed race Laura Rose (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and sincere affection

This is a very good movie by first time director but master protagonist Edward Norton : whilst watching, we have the impression that he might even share part of this fictional character obsession for details! Alec Baldwin and Bruce Willis treat us with excellent performances

I would definitely recommend !

USA 2019
Certificate 15  144m 12s 

Director Edward Norton

Lionel Essrog Edward Norton
Laura Rose Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Moses Randolph Alec Baldwin
Paul Willem Dafoe
Frank Minna Bruce Willis
Gilbert Coney Ethan Suplee
Gabby Horowitz Cherry Jones
Tony Vermonte Bobby Cannavale
Danny Fantl Dallas Roberts
William Lieberman Josh Pais





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