Thursday, August 24, 2006

Breakfast on Pluto

First up, we're talking Pluto the planet - not the dog. Just so we're clear.

On Tuesday night Morgan and I went to see Neil "The Crying Game" Jordan's latest film Breakfast on Pluto. (imdb info, vaguely annoying Flash-tastic official site, Sony Pictures Classics site)

It will be hard for Jordan to escape comparisons with "The Crying Game", because both films deal with themes of intrigue, life changing secrets, marginalised people, gender and sexuality. Oh, and Stephen Rhea is in both, so there's that too. It has only just been released here in Oz, but it isn't really a new film as it was made in late 2005.

The film stars Cillian Murphy as Patrick "Kitten" Braden, an abandoned child in a small 1960s Irish town who grows up as an outsider, not only within his foster family, but within the town itself. He escapes into dreams about glamour, his mysterious and beautiful biological mother, frocks and boys, supported by his friendships with a small band of fellow outsiders. Leaving home to search for his mother also allows Kitten to search for himself, to cobble together an identity that fits. The later setting of glam rock 1970s London also allows Kitten to experiment with androgyny and to revel in his sexuality and gender identity.

It's a long film at 2 hours plus, but an enjoyable one. There's a few kooky plot devices I was unsure about at first, and I think you have to suspend belief to a degree to believe that someone can sail through the adversities that Kitten encounters and still arrive relatively unscathed. Having said that, the film does work and is enhanced by some great perfomances, funky costume design and a killer soundtrack of 60s and 70s music. Enough to make me want to go out and find Patrick McCabe's book on which the film is based, and which according to the Sony site was #1 on Irish "Best Seller" lists when it was published.


Michael Guy said...

I recall seeing the promos for this film but then it fell off my radar; 'thanks' for the reminder and the review.

The Other Andrew said...

MG, hey 'you're welcome' my friend. There's something about the glamour attitude of Kitten's that I think you could relate to maybe. :)