Callie K. (ballofglitter) from GRAND ISLAND, NE Reviewed on 8/15/2014...
I won't lie this movie is very strange and unique. It's pretty funny though because I watched this right after I watched Red Eye and I remembered Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later. In this one, going from those 2 movies to this one (being a gay cross dresser) He's great at it!! It's hilarious watching him in it.
Janet M. (jwin) from KERHONKSON, NY Reviewed on 6/19/2011...
An acting tour-de-force from Cillian Murphy. His character's bravery will make you weep.
The nine lives of Patrick "Kitten" Braden.
I. Sondel | Tallahassee, FL United States | 04/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Adapted for the screen and directed by Neil Jordan, "Breakfast on Pluto," based on the novel by Patrick McCabe, is the story of Patrick "Kitten" Braden, a gay Candide, off on a kaleidoscopic journey of self discovery. As you'd expect from the creators of "The Butcher Boy," this is a strange little film, episodic to the extreme, with a surreal quality and a unique kinetic energy.
Left on the doorstep of a parish priest in a small Irish village, our kitten is placed in the home of a lady shopkeeper who hasn't the ability to cope with, let alone nurture, a cross-dressing boy all to quickly developing into a flamboyantly gay man. One confrontation too many and our kitten hits the road in search of love and the mother who abandoned him. His resulting adventures include professional and romantic entanglements, prostitution, mistaken identity, false imprisonment, attempted murder and, most poignantly, a happy ending.
As Kitten, Cillian Murphy is a revelation. I've seen a number of straight actors play gay transvestites and have rarely been impressed, feeling most fail to connect or communicate any of the inner juice of their characters, delivering performances that are hollow and false. Murphy, star of Danny Boyle's "28 Days Later," nails it. He rises to the challenges and demands of his role, bringing Patrick Braden to life in all his ambiguous glory. Liam Neeson and Stephen Rea, both Jordan regulars, standout among the supporting players, each quietly affecting in rather tricky roles.
Neil Jordan has been making emotionally charged, character driven dramas for more than twenty years. Along with "Mona Lisa," "The Butcher Boy," "The End of the Affair" and the Oscar winning "The Crying Game," "Breakfast on Pluto" ranks among this great filmmaker's very best efforts. Bravo."
Nearly Five Stars
James Carragher | New York | 03/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Breakfast on Pluto has two slight strikes against it that make it easy to overlook. First, despite many differences it immediately recalls Neil Jordan's earlier Crying Game in its subject matter and IRA-struggles context. Second, there are at least two higher profile gay and/or gender bending-themed movies around this season. But this film stands strongly on its own merits. Cillian Murphy (last seen in the 180 degree different Red Eye) plays Kitten Braden, a boy who wants (and largely succeeds) to be a girl, who wants to find his Phantom Lady mother who abandoned him as a baby, and who wants to live happily in a world that is entirely too -- in his/her words -- "serious, serious." The foundling journey tale is at least as old as Tom Jones and Kitten's particular one includes wrenching moments of cruelty and violence perpetrated on him, some witnessed violence against the IRA backdrop, emotional pain, unexpected kindnesses from unexpected sources, and, finally, a certain peace, happiness and reward. Some of Kitten's life chapters, as the movie constructs them, feel overdone or superflous about a third of the way through the film, but it steadily gathers power and depth, while always retaining its light touch, right to the end and its reference to Oscar Wilde. Throughout, Murphy is pitch perfect, every inch a Kitten, but never entirely losing his maleness. It is acting at its best. Stephen Rea is excellent as the magician who befriends, loves, but also exploits Kitten. Ditto for Liam Neeson as a priest. Humane, knowing and triumphant, Breakfast on Pluto and Kitten Braden are as real a story as you will see in movies this or any year. "
An Ambitious "Breakfast"--Jordan Samples Many Serious Topics
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 12/19/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I had looked forward to seeing "Breakfast on Pluto" after missing its theatrical run. Neil Jordan is a filmmaker that I admire. Perhaps best known for "The Crying Game" and "Interview With A Vampire," he also helmed one of my favorites--the overlooked "Mona Lisa." I have, likewise, been intrigued by Cillian Murphy. He's an interesting actor and I had hoped this would give him the opportunity to shine. But much to my disappointment, I didn't connect with "Breakfast on Pluto." While it had the potential to be a great film, Murphy's character (based on real life transvestite Patrick "Kitten" Braden) is so superficially drawn--it's hard to muster much interest in her self-involved lifestyle.
Before I get any hate mail, yes--I understood the character and the film. Kitten refuses to see reality for what it is and oftentimes exists solely in the fantasy of her mind. The surreal quality of the film and the hyperdramatic Kitten are supposed to reflect a parallel universe to the classic love films that she wants the world to be like. I think that's a perfectly acceptable narrative device. But the movie touches on every subject from Catholicism, the IRA, terrorism, prostitution, prejudice, abortion--and yet manages not to involve us in any of it. Why? Because the world through Kitten's eyes doesn't allow it. That's fine, too--if Kitten were someone I wanted to go on a journey with. But, sadly, she's not. It's not Murphy's fault--he's fine. The screenplay doesn't let us see any texture to Kitten. Many times as she is set up to be the victim of a scene, she has either been so rude, delusional, or downright idiotic--I just couldn't generate any sympathy for her.
She has some childhood friends who we follow periodically, but they are so sketchily drawn--they barely register. Kitten's main quest is to find the mother who has abandoned her. But again--as her friends and country are being torn apart, her interests are always self-motivated. There are bigger issues in the world that Kitten falling in love at first sight. And boy, do the guys flock to her. With her sing-songy voice and ridiculous love talk (on first meeting), I would have run from the madwoman. But somehow, it's meant to be enchanting. I know, some of you will contend--"But, she's a real person." OK, then I didn't like her in the film's portrayal.
The film covers everything, but strangely nothing at all. Maybe the problem was too much content--it needed to focus on a smaller scale and really develop the characters. Even the significant moments of Kitten's life are seemingly glossed over. Even though she walks the streets, gets picked up by strange men, works in a prostitution house--she never has sex. It's all so vague, so surface. With nothing to hold on to--I just let go. At the center of "Breakfast" is an emotional void. The film does have a fun and funky soundtrack which was my favorite thing in the movie. But overall, I was left flat and uncaring about Kitten and her story.
A big disappointment from a talented team--the fact that I didn't like "Breakfast on Pluto" couldn't have surprised me more. KGHarris, 12/06."
Murphy purrs like a kitten
Jonathan Appleseed | 06/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cillian Murphy's performance in Breakfast on Pluto is nothing short of astonishing. Although I'd never thought of him playing a transvestite, upon seeing him it was readily apparent that he was born to play one. It didn't take much makeup for him to appear "womanly", but far beyond that were his remarkably spot-on affectations. Every single movement he made, be it dancing, pointing, walking, trying to hop, smiling, making moon eyes at almost any male that would give him attention - whatever - he *was* "Kitten." Of all the performances by men playing transvestites or transsexuals, his by far outshines all others. I'm going to refer to Murphy's character as "she", because that's what Kitten would have liked.
As a baby, Kitten was placed on the doorstep of a church, thereby orphaned. (Have you ever wondered what has happened to children left on church doorsteps when nobody's home? Say the Father [or Sister] is on vacation, or they're sleeping and it rains at night...) The Father arranged for him to be raised by another woman. While in Catholic school, he drove the Father's mad. 1) He wrote a fanciful story describing his conception which, in a Catholic school, was particularly lewd; 2) When a Father acknowledged that at their age they would have "questions" (i.e., sexual questions), Kitten dropped a note in the question box about how to go about getting a sex change. There were others...all fairly hysterical, and although she didn't put the face to it, they were pleas for affection/attention.
Kitten had an indomitable spirit. No matter what hell she was placed in, somehow she rose above it, even in her own innocent naïveté. One of the most insightful scenes in the movie involved the club bombing. A handsome young man spotted her "across the bar", and bought her a drink. They then danced, ironically to a song that her first love, a musician she traveled with when she first home, sang. She asked this young man to pretend his name was that of her first love, and he agrees. That was touching and sentimental, and showed a very important side of Kitten, one that holds on to things regardless of circumstance. Then a bomb goes off, wounding many, and probably killing some. Kitten herself is terribly wounded, and is taken away in an ambulance. We then see Kitten in an interrogation room being knocked around by a detective (or whatever they call them across the ocean) because he believes that Kitten, being Irish, had something to do with it. They kept him there for seven days - the maximum they could keep him - and while he jokingly or perhaps insanely made admissions of guilt, they knew that he wasn't being serious. But because he was Irish, they figured he was in on the scheme.
When he is finally released, he begs them to allow him to stay. He doesn't want to be released back into a world where everything and everyone is so "serious", but they toss him out. They can't keep him any longer. Watching him beg to stay was disturbing, but for the first time, really, we saw that although he was in a world that he found far too "serious" and was existing in it bravely, that world terrified him. He would have preferred to stay in jail.
The "epic" in this story is the quest for Kitten to find his birth mother, and all the different places that quest takes him - even while he is waylaid at times from this, usually for a man, as he will accept the affection and attention that almost any man will give him. It's so horribly sad to see such desperation - which Murphy and those eyes of his display so perfectly.
Whether he finds his mother is significant, and if I spoke about the results of his quest it would be like telling someone that never watched or read The Lord of the Rings that Gollum bit Frodo's ring finger off and fell into the fires of Mount Doom. (I feel safe saying this because the books have sold almost 200 million copies and the movies generated 2.9 billion dollars.)
But it is the epic quest that he's on, and whether he completes it, and if so how it affects him, is significant.
However it plays out...it will be a joy for you to watch. "
Thought-Provoking and Brilliant
C. E. Creager | 04/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film as a fan of Cillian Murphy, thinking it'd be an enjoyable time. WOW - I was totally unprepared. The film is, as has been said, an emotional rollercoaster, but it's inspirational for anyone, never mind a sweet boy lost in an entirely too serious world.
The cast, directing, lighting, music and script are all fantastic - I've never seen The Crying Game, but who cares if they're similar. Jordan stalwart Stephen Rea is sweetly malevolent (no, not an oxymoron) as Bertie, the magician; Liam Neeson does a fantastic and at times hilarious turn as the town's repressed priest; Ruth Negga is wonderful as Kitten's best friend, and what can one say about Cillian Murphy. Admittedly I'm biased, but the man just blew me away. Amazing talent and a real wish to get into the soul of such a complex character. He's incredibly dedicated to his craft and in this instance, it paid off. It moved me to tears.
The story is choppy and jumps from place to place, but that's the point - at the very beginning of the film, there's even a graphic that says "Chapters From My Life." It's not a linear story, per se; it's a series of interwoven vignettes showing just how Kitten overcomes. If Kitten were just as "serious, serious" as her world, she'd have curled up and died long before the end and everything working out. The music is also fantastic - the soundtrack really embodies Kitten and her never-say-die, understated attitude. Lots of '70s pop and glam rock, most notably Dusty Springfield and "The Windmills Of Your Mind." Great, great choices.
Some closed-minded individuals might draw back in horror at anyone saying they admire a transgendered or gay person, but honestly? This film gives us a character portrait of someone who we'd all do worse than to emulate. Kitten simply never gives up. It's an endearing trait, no matter who you are."