When they arrive in Mexico, Penelope wears a fabulous, 1960s-vibe, long sleeved, funnel-neck-ish orange wool dress. It is a break from the brothers Bloom color scheme – she’s fallen in love, and that is unscripted. She wears this dress when Bloom (in cream linen) tells her that he and Stephen are con men, all the way through the fight and the gun going off, and her realizing she’s been had. It’s a lovely bit of punctuation on Penelope’s part, visually. I was almost cheering in the theater.
Later that evening she is in her pajamas – black, two-piece pajamas with cream piping detail on the collar – really nice. She and Bloom hook up in this sequence – he’s wearing a white shirt and black pants. Incidentally, it makes me wonder how the DP was able to get through all of the black and white combinations on screen without tearing his hair out? It is sometimes a real challenge to light two people in the same scene when one wears black and the other wears white. I mean, in a controlled environment, it’s probably not too bad. But in The Brothers Bloom, it was like this in most scenes, outdoors, indoors, everywhere. Not easy.
When Penelope blows up her mansion in New Jersey, she is back to the brothers Bloom color scheme – she’s wearing white, a notable absence of color. Then, when she goes to Montenegro to find Bloom, she wears a black furry coat, and a black/white/red print shirt, a combination we often see Bang Bang wearing.
Upon arrival in Prague, she adds a cheetah print wool coat to her ensembles, but it is still in the narrow range of cream, black, white – the brothers Bloom color schematic. The coat is to die for, in texture and silhouette. It’s classic, it’s hip, it’s funky but elegant – such a hard line to ride, and it is done brilliantly here. She also wears a pair of ridiculously beautiful retro-shaped cream framed sunglasses. With Rachel Weisz’ coloring: porcelain skin, dark hair, this ensemble is a total knockout. All of her costumes have a kind of 1960s, almost Jean Seberg (with more hair) vibe to them, and those sunglasses just put me over the edge.