If he only knew what she was doing.
Peacock by Michael Lander
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Blurb: In small town Nebraska, in an unspecified but presumably 1950s-ish past, John, a socially awkward bank clerk, lives with Emma, a shy and unassuming housewife, a wife that the rest of the town didn't know existed. She just happens to be the other side of his fractured personality. (I assure you this is not a spoiler.) One morning a train crashes in to their backyard and Emma is revealed to the townsfolk. John's carefully constructed life slowly begins to unravel as Emma's starts to bloom.
Cillian Murphy is phenomenal as John and Emma, two parts of a split personality, and that reason alone makes the film worth seeing and certainly made it worth a cinematic release. I can't see how any other actor could have put in a better performance in 2010 and yet the unforgivable decision to skip even the festival circuit has robbed him of any industry recognition. He really is a beautiful woman too. It's quite unfair.
Michael Lander directs with restraint to create a slow moving psychological drama filled with superb cinematography thanks to the wonderful Philipe Rousselot and a pervasive creepiness through interesting use of the mise-en-scene and subtle musical cues. Throughout the 90 minute runtime I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't watching a Todd Haynes movie, it is that beautiful and meticulously crafted.
Questions are not answered, the viewer is challenged, brain cells are forced to engage. The plot unfolds with hints and clues, nods and tips of the hat, and still you do not really know which way anything will go, what is a subtle red herring, what you are imagining and what is intended. It's quite the marvel indeed and will almost certainly reward repeat viewings, unlike other more gimmicky split personality/psychotic break movies.
I cannot recommend this movie enough, however if you like your narrative cinema to be "normal" you may find yourself getting frustrated and angry with the content, as Peacock is most definitely not the kind of film you would describe as normal.
It is as good as this kind of movie can possibly get in my opinion and I only wish I hadn't waited 2 years to watch my copy.
Anyone actually seen this one? Who won the Best Actor Oscar in 2011? I bet they weren't as good as Murphy whoever they were. Comments anyone?