Monday, 15 December 2014

Review - Peacock (2010 - Dir. Michael Lander)

Here we are at the semi-finals of the FA Cup of Actors then and our first match is between Ellen Page and Jennifer Connelly. Now, when Peacock came up for Ellen Page I thought that she'd blown it. I didn't fancy this in the slightest. I'm not that keen on Susan Sarandon and I haven't liked anything that Cillian Murphy has done, (either of the first two Batman films or "it's not a zombie film" 28 Days Later) he's way too slinky for my liking. Things aren't looking good for Pagey (a bit like when half of your players have the flu and the opposition forces you to change ends after the toss).

But crikey, (and maybe even blimy) it's actually not too bad. In fact, it's pretty good. And shock of shocks, Cillian Murphy's performance is great. Let's find out more...

For once I'm going to quote directly from IMDb to give you a little portion of background info: "A train accident in rural Nebraska gradually unveils a mystery involving the town's bank clerk." The reason why I've thieved this is because it gives away nothing, which is dandy. It's good to see that the person writing this knew that to say any more would be to spoil everything about the film.

The director describes this as psychological horror, which I would agree with. It's part drama, part mystery, part thriller and part horror. Fitting it into an existing genre is very difficult, which is generally a good thing; it shows the film-makers have tried something different. Another positive is that the ending is ambiguous leading to plenty of post-film chat.

Cillian Murphy is the major revelation of Peacock. This is a mightily impressive performance, without which the film wouldn't work, and at worst would become laughable. One scene in particular, where there is a certain amount of deception going on, borders on stunning. Changing my mind about someone is pretty hard going so well done Mr Murphy.

Ellen Page, meanwhile, is badly miscast. Her acting is up to her usual standard but I just can't see her as living in a trailer park, and selling her body for cans of Special Brew. Added to that, she doesn't look like a natural born smoker. I can see why they jumped at the chance of having Pagey in their film but for me it was a mistake. If she gets through this semi-final, she's pulled it off by bringing in the ringer Cillian Murphy who should have been in the running for an Oscar.

I've found it really hard to give this a rating. It's worth seeing for Murphy's performance alone (which I would give a 9/10). Overall though, I'm glad that I've seen Peacock but it's not a film that I would watch again, basically down to personal taste. If you like Psycho and Lars and the Real Girl then you will probably enjoy this. 

If you like this you could also try:
Psycho, Lars and the Real Girl.

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