Breakfast On Pluto

"Excellent"

Breakfast On Pluto Review


Neil Jordan doesn't make bad movies. Even if the story isn't spectacular (The Good Thief), the visuals are always stunning and the acting is consistently so striking that you're never bored by what you see. There are times that cultural patterns remain unclear (The Crying Game) and you'll feel lost in the muddle of figuring out exactly what's going on, but the trick is to just watch without dissecting. You're guaranteed to walk out stimulated by the events that occurred.

The same holds true for his latest, Breakfast on Pluto, starring the ever-impressive chameleon Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Batman Begins) as an orphaned transvestite in Ireland during the 1960s and '70s. After seeing brief passages of his playful struggle to maintain his identity from one boarding school to the next in working class suburbia, we're swept up in the journey of Patrick, a.k.a. "Kitten," as he heads to the wilds of London in search of the mother who left him behind.

It's a given early on that young Patrick is different and his inclination for wearing feminine articles is not merely some form of rebellion. While most films will concentrate far too much time on creating moments of mental crisis for those of a "deviant" sexual orientation, Patrick is refreshingly strong in personality and outlook. To make up for the verbal battering he receives in his unforgiving community, his vivid imagination creates a narrative to guide the movie between reality and how he's dealing with or denying it.

His meandering journey to find some group in which to fit and find the love he was always denied by absent parents leads him into fascinating situations with people who are just as amazed by his self-perpetuated naïve nature as we are. From traveling with a band to taking shelter in a peep show house, he manages to barely escape the political problems of a torn Ireland that doesn't want the likes of him anyway.

Though there are sections that feel interminably long -- the film runs over two hours and doesn't necessarily move at a steady pace -- Patrick is compulsively watchable throughout. The plot remains interesting as well because it's impossible to predict where the next adventure is going to lead, or even if Patrick is going to come to some foul fate from pissing off the wrong person with his antics. Because of the violent background of the time period in which it is based, literally anything could happen to any of the characters and make absolute sense.

Breakfast on Pluto is told through a fable-like lens, but Jordan shies from pushing any specific morality on the audience. It's simply an entertaining story of an eccentric young man who gets to have some amazing experiences by sticking to his goals and partially living in a dream world in order to cope with the real one.

Reviewed as part of the 2005 New York Film Festival.

Where's Gandalf when you need him?



Breakfast On Pluto

Facts and Figures

Run time: 128 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th January 2006

Box Office USA: $0.8M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 57%
Fresh: 66 Rotten: 50

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Patrick 'Kitten' Braden, as Father Liam, as Charlie, as Irwin, as Bertie, as John-Joe, Conor McEvoy as Young Patrick Braden, as Mr. Silky String, as Stripper, as Jackie Timlin, as Dean, Paraic Breathnach as Benny Feely, as Ma Braden, as Caroline Braden, as Eily Bergin, Chris McHallem as Punter

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