John Skillpa, a quiet bank clerk living in tiny Peacock, Nebraska, prefers to live an invisible life. This might have to do with Johns secret he has another personality no one knows about, a woman who each morning does his chores and cooks him breakfast before he starts his day. Then, in a moment, everything changes...
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The acting is competent-to-good, the cinematography is good, thedirection is abstract, and the script is worthless. Others have askedhow such a great cast was persuaded to participate in this, and Iconcur. There may be a story here, but the film fails to tell it,period. The main character has multi-personality disorder because hewas tortured by his mother? That statement could explain dissociationand multiple personality disorder, if this were a textbook, but it'snot! It's a movie, darn it, and we're supposed to be made to feelsomething to, at, for, by, with and from these characters. In thisstory, the characters barely connect with each other, let alone withthe audience. Why do they do what they do? Alas, we know not. Verylittle happens in this film, what there is doesn't have muchdiscernible motivation, and it happens very very slowly. With long,luscious, atmospheric shots of...of...farm equipment? I've seenfirst-effort Indie films that had many of these same stultifyingcharacteristics, but seldom with such an impressive group of actors.Too bad they were wasted here.
This film is amazing!! Cillian Murphy has a career performance and brings an incredible depth to the already rich lead character. For whatever terrible reason this didn't make it to theatres, the mistake should be made up for now that it's on DVD. It's a masterpiece that truly needs to be seen! Don't rent, just buy it.
While the film can't measure up to its psychologically bent scenario, it's still an intriguing choice at the local DVD store or on-demand service.
Cillian Murphy is really good in this. I actually can almost not thinkof another actor playing this particular role. It is very demanding andhe goes places that I'm sure some people wouldn't dare go (or followhim for that reason). It really is a good movie. A weird little storywith great actors all over the place.I especially loved the ending, though they seemed to be unsure of howto go, since there are alternate endings on the disc. Very slow andvery uncomfortable to watch, it is something that I hope will becherished by quite a few people. Even if it only gets a homeentertainment release (like in Germany) and does not see the light ofthe cinemas. I dare you to watch it
For me, Peacock was a jarring and intense work of art. The story burns slow and steady, allowing most of its action to reside within the thoughts and emotions of its lead character, John Skillpa. Skillpa is a man divided unto himself, hidden from himself, and ultimately at war with himself. Cillian Murphy offers some pretty amazing work here, and if you enjoy character studies then you're in for a real treat. What is equally impressive though is the work of the director. Peacock felt like moving through a Norman Rockwell painting that had gone terribly wrong; a serving of grandma's apple pie, only the apples are poisoned. Not wishing to spoil any of the plot I would say that if you enjoy subtly and nuance in your stories, and if you like the idea of screams turned into whispers, then you'll have much here to love.
What a waste of talented actors. I'd probably only watch this movieagain if i was intoxicated and felt like laughing at a man dressed as awoman for two hours. No wonder this went straight to video. thinking itwould be interesting and it is not. it's just a man dressed as a womanin 1950. That's what the whole movie is about! my and my friend werecracking up at it. In the beginning there is a train wreck that lookstotally fake, It is hilarious. In general however, it has no story andreally wasn't about anything. Susan Sarandon just seems like she doesnot want to be there. It's very boring as wellI'd be curious to see if the filmmakers on this make anything else.
This movie is a little bit episodic and offbeat, but it's still an engrossing psychological thriller that will likely hold your interest. As with Norman Bates, the main character's mother apparently played too big and too malignant a role in his life.The title "Peacock" refers to the name of the town where the action is set. However, it could also be intended to subliminally suggest people who disport themselves in assumed colors.The producers of this low-budget film somehow managed to snag a lot of big name stars for relatively minor roles here. Look for Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman, Keith Carradine, and others - as if this film were part of a repertory project in which all the actors rotate in and out of starring roles. The appearance of these big names as just average town's people lends an additional aura of eerie abnormality to the proceedings.I'm not sure I understand the import of the ending. It might be subject to several different interpretations. But that in and of itself left me with something to think about. I think you'll also find this a memorable, menacing portrayal.
If you've seen Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, heard about it, talked tosomebody who saw it or basically just been alive for any length of timesince the movie was first released, you don't need to see Peacock.That's because as well acted as this film is, and as adorable as EllenPage always is, this is a story about what Norman Bates would be likeif he didn't kill people. So, it's like Psycho but without any danger,mystery or purpose. I glanced at the "making of" feature on the DVD andco-writer/director Michael Lander seemed proud that he made a moviethat doesn't do anything you expect. That's true, but only becausePeacock doesn't do much of anything at all. It hints at this and italludes to that and it references the other, without ever delving deepinto any of its chosen subject matter. This is a well crafted nothing.John Skillpa (Cillian Murphy) is crazy. Most of the time he's himself,an awkward, brittle, almost autistic man who works at a bank and canbarely communicate with other human beings. In the mornings, however,he's Emma and she cooks John's breakfast, washes his clothes and peepsthrough the curtains at the children across the street. And no, John'snot a transvestite living in the 1950s small town of Peacock, Nebraska,though I couldn't help thinking that would have made a much moreinteresting story. John's a full on split personality like Psycho orSybill or Raising Cain. And it's clear before the opening credits areover that it's because John was abused by his mother.It's unclear how long John has been existing this way but when arailroad accident deposits a train car in his back yard and the wholetown of Peacock suddenly learns of John's "wife", that existence startsto change. Emma begins to take over more and more of John's time andbecomes a functional person, even as John becomes more frazzled andanguished. Eventually, Emma and John face off over small town whoreMaggie (Ellen Page) and her son by John. Co-writer/director Landerapparently thought he could fake out the audience by first making Johnappear to be the unstable one and Emma the normal personality and thenpull the ol' switcheroo, but he only fakes out himself.Peacock is wonderfully performed. Cillian Murphy isn't exactly doinganything you haven't seen before, but his John and Emma are quite wellconceived and executed roles. Susan Sarandon as the proto-feminist wifeof the town's mayor and Page as the girl from the wrong side of thetracks are really good. Graham Beckel as an avuncular politicaloperative who wants to stage a rally at the train in John's backyardand Bill Pullman as a shifty bank manager are great living scenery. Theproblem is that at the end of the film, you've seen some nice actingand that's about it.You can sympathize or empathize with the insane but it's awfully hardto identify with a nut job, especially when you're expected to justassume all the reasons why the person is crazy. There are no flashbacksto explain John. There are no digressions to explain Emma. The vieweris simply presented with this loon and is supposed to care about him.Since it's difficult to identify with a whacko, you can try to connectto him through his relationships with normal people. However, Peacockis overstuffed with supporting characters who never interact with Johnor Emma in more than superficial ways. There's a local cop, the bankmanager, a neighbor, the Mayor and even Sarandon and Page's charactersnever get below the surface of either personality. Maybe if it had onlybeen the triangle of Emma, John and Maggie or if the central conflictwas the liberated-for-the-1950s mayor's wife drawing the Emmapersonality out of John's orbit or if the story's focus had been on thelocal cop as the closest thing John has to a friend trying to figureout where his never before seen wife came from, maybe that would havegiven some direction and edge to this motion picture. There's none ofthat, though. All Peacock has is the twist of trying to make you thinkJohn is the bad guy and Emma the heroine, only to flip it around. Buthe's crazy and she's a delusion. The real twist would have been playingit straight and arguing that madness is sometimes the healthiest andsanest reaction to this world.If you're a fan of actors or don't know what the words "Alfred","Hitchcock" or "Psycho" mean, you might like Peacock. For the rest ofus, it's a waste of time.
The film itself probably doesn't rate more than 3.5 stars because theplot of "Peacock" strains credibility a bit, but not nearly as much asit might have without Cillian Murphy's fantastic 5-star performance. Inthis film, he proves himself an actor with great scope and depth.We learn at the outset (thus no spoiler here) that Murphis playing twocharacters, alternatively adopting the personality of an obviouslydysfunctional young man during workaday hours as a bank fileclerk--with a notable performance by Bill Pullman as hissupervisor--and then transforming into his mysterious femalecounterpart, each living separate but connected lives in the samehouse. I'll say no more about the plot other than that it's a veryoriginal story, with appropriate nods to a few classics.This is no "Tootsie" or "Some Like It Hot" cross-dressing story. Thisfilm and Murphy's performance are equally compelling and memorable. Seeit.
That is a shame about it going straight to DVD. Besides the great story with a really good cast with a particularly excellent performance by Cillian Murphy, was the blow-you-away soundtrack by Brian Reitzell!!!I suppose it is too much to expect a soundtrack CD from a straight-to-DVD movie?
Peacock like many other films about emotionally disturbed individualsis a character study, however strong performances by the lead actorsand Michael Lander's visual storytelling push it to be something of adelightful anomaly.Peacock is a portrait of a man, John Skillpa who is a victim of childabuse, played expertly by the Irish thespian Cillian Murphy. He is alsosuffering from a great loss, and in his grief he invents an alter egoby the name of Emma. What is notable about Murphy's dual role is hisattention to detail - differentiating the withdrawn and short temperedJohn from the graceful and attentive Emma, demonstrating his skill asan actor and not solely relying on the magic of movie makeup. CillianMurphy has established himself as one of the most under-appreciated andunder-rated actors of his generation. The supporting cast of BillPullman, Susan Sarandon and Ellen Page give nuanced portrayals of ruralfolk in 1960s Nebraska.Enigmatic, elegant and poignant.There is no spectacular twist at the end, and frankly this film doesnot need one. If one pays careful attention to the narrative it isneither convoluted nor patronizing to the audience. A masterful featurefilm debut by Lander, it is a wonder this was not picked up for widerdistribution. If Hitchcock made Psycho a drama in the 2000s, this wouldbe it.
No one knows it's him because he puts on a wig and some makeup? Oh please... Just didn't find it believable in the least. But Murphy is a great actor nonetheless.
I think this movie was different than any other movie I have seen yet.The story of Emma and John Skillpa is weird in a sense that this couldhappen anywhere. Any man could be living like this in any part of theworld and we may never know it. It's fascinating because we see that nomatter how hard John tries, Emma always wins in the end. I'm glad thatEmma ended whatever was started but I didn't like the end. I personallydon't think it ended right and the alternate ending wasn't very goodeither. I find human behavior and personalities fascinating and to seethese two things manifest themselves from one character is awesome andintriguing. The movie is weird because it's really slow and at times Ididn't even want to try to finish it. I think it could've gone better.Cillian is a very amazing actor if he can pull off multiplepersonalities and can play a woman just as well as he can play a man. Idon't think that I'll watch it over and over again but it was worthwatching once. This isn't a movie that I'd buy at the store. It's notone of my favorite movies but it was good. It's not, in my opinion, apsychological thriller at all.
Lets be honest here I think Cillian is amazing on any day, OK soSunshine wasn't a wonderful movie but I still liked him in it.Cillian Murphy is amazingly psychotically bad in "Red Eye" andfantastically whimsical and engrossing in "Breakfast on Pluto". In thismovie he is absolutely believable as the off the edge, damaged,suppressed, introverted and terrified of everything John and theoutgoing confident and all over wonderful Emma. Helped by the coveringsof the clothes of the day both roles are absolutely spot on.Ellen Paige's role lacks the edge of complete confusion that shouldhave gone with the interaction with the two characters and omission ofthe script rather than the actress.This has only just arrived on video in New Zealand but it is anabsolute gem. There are a couple of great touches that highlight reallywell just how the characters are coping with the situation and theyreally help illustrate just how repressed and covert things had to bebehind closed doors.The film is a really slow build and it is worth the wait. Untypical ofthe breed you are left with the wonder of how they all would have beenafter it ended. The sign I think of a satisfying movie - you get to beinvolved with the people and feel for them. I would have loved to haveseen it on the big screen but no such luck although I will try to getthe local arty theatre to put it on their list.
I saw Peacock. What is this ? A great mistake. I like strange movies like "Surveillance" or "Twin Peaks". But Peacock is far from them. And the Video Quality of the Blu-ray "Peacock" here in Brasil is BAD !!!
As noted, Cillian Murphy was brilliant. I would imagine almost all thenegative comments are by those, mainly men, who felt uncomfortable withthis movie. You have to set aside your personal feelings and recognizea great performance starring at you from the screen.The pace allowed for space, similar to a drummer not playing a lot ofnotes...it's the breadth between the notes (think of a slow Pink Floydgroove). This movie was deep and should have a following, especially inpsychology classes.You can't help but wonder what would cause a man to dress like a womandaily, and then enter his daily existence still entrapped by the woundsof his past.Many more noted than I can give an attempt to explain this condition,but in the end, life can be a very sad place.
i ordered this dvd like a month ago(from japan).yes, i am a big Cillian Murphy fan and i'm collecting almost all his released films!i love all the films he's played in and i am so sure THIS became NO EXCEPTION!!get one and watch it!!
Granted, Peacock has Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Susan Sarandon andBill Pullman all doing their damnedest to keep this story going.Granted Cillian Murphy perhaps does give a potentially award winningperformance as the meek, shy, repressed outsider whose alter ego of apowerful woman takes over once in a while is a truly schizophrenic way.Even though Susan Sarandon is typecast as the important woman who inthis case swims in ambiguity in a sea of whether she actually cares orwhether she simply want to achieve her goals, it's Susan Sarandon afterall. However, I will have to say, Ellen Page's talents are all butwasted here, because she is so fine an actress, having launched hercareer in the indisputably controversial film Hard Handy, that we haveto wonder why any film starring this celebrity would go straight tovideo.The bottom line here is that Peacock is uninteresting. Unlike Psycho, afilm that also involved a psychotic transvestite, there is no grippingsuspense. Unlike Sling Blade, a film that also involved a mentallyunstable main character, there is no realistic character interaction tolead up to an ultimately violent climax. Peacock merely drags on and onwith annoying background music as the main character turns back andforth from equally unlikable personae. Peacock probably will serve as a launching point for the careers ofsome talented people, but on its own, as a movie that is suppose toentertain us, it is simply a character study--nothing more.
Some will compare this movie to "Psycho" and while it borrows someelements, it is a quite different story. Some reviews have the movieset in the 1950s, and that is what I first thought, but the car hedrives looks like a mid-1960s to early 1970s Chevy.Cillian Murphy is John Skillpa, lives alone, works in a bank, and has avery tightly scheduled routine. To say he is obsessive-compulsive is togreatly understate his situation. He has a very rigid conversationaltone and seldom looks anyone in the eye. In quick flashbacks as themovie begins we see a somewhat troubled childhood, perhaps evenchild-abuse at the hands of his mother, who died only a year ago.But we also see Emma Skillpa, living alone there. "She" is also playedby Cillian Murphy. Emma cooks breakfast each morning, puts a plate overit, then goes upstairs, then at precisely 8:15AM John comes down to eatand go to work. Emma wears a dark wig, makeup, and a long dress butonly comes out into the back yard to hang laundry, and no one else hasever seen her. Until a train caboose derails and crashes into the backyard. Then she is required to confront the public and a soft-spoken,self-assured woman emerges.Ellen Page is Maggie, a local young lady with a young son, wanting toget out of Peacock, Nebraska. Susan Sarandon is Fanny Crill, activistand wife of the mayor. Keith Carradine is her husband, Mayor Ray Crill.Josh Lucas is police Officer Tom McGonigle. And Bill Pullman is John'ssupervisor at work, Edmund French.The story gets complex and you never really know where it is goingnext. The best reason to see it is for the performance of CillianMurphy as both John and Emma.MAJOR SPOILERS: John and Emma are the same person, but with twodistinctly different personalities and motives. They don't appear toknow what the other is going to do, or has just done in that guise.Emma is apparently John channeling his dead mother. It turns out thatMaggie's son is John's, a product of a wild night facilitated by John'smother two years earlier, probably in her own madness as a way to getJohn "to be a man." Emma fakes John's death, and is set up to try toadopt the boy, but she (he) realizes that the boy is not safe, he mightmeet the same fate that John did growing up, so Emma gives Maggie moneyand a ride to get her and the boy out of town and with relatives.
As a start I have to add that in my opinion this movie was not athriller. Yet it is really worth to talk about, so here it comes.We're facing a quite interesting life here. John, your typical quietbank clerk is a man with a serious case of dissociative identitydisorder, caused by his irregular relationship with his mother in thepast, a typical case of Freudian archetypes (usually I disagree withthem when talking about the case of the mistakes mothers make whenraising their children, but in this very movie I couldn't refer toanything else). In short, ever since the day his mother died, hecross-dresses and pretends to be a nice and friendly woman -who mostpeople think is his wife-, Emma. Fighting the demons of his past, he'sstarting to loose control. The whole situation is driving him insane,making him unable to stop his alter ego, who seems to be taking overcontrol and doing things he would never do. The ending most likely willnot be what you were expecting for. It is quite sad on its own way.The even better reason to treat this movie as something special is theamount of amazing acting in it. By checking the three main characters,you could already tell that you won't see anything disappointing, atleast not at the acting part. And let me make this clear, my highexpectations were fulfilled. I think I haven't seen such excellentacting in a really long time, so if the subject doesn't really interestyou, you can still watch it for a memorable cinematic experience.Oh and Susan Sarandon, she will never get too old to look beautiful.Her character was so warm and lovely, it fit her really well. EllenPage (as the main cause I watched this movie for) also did great, thecharacter of Maggie was impossible to not love. The scene when she toldEmma how she got pregnant and started crying simply made me wish to bethere and hug her. And of course -as most critiques mentioned-, CMreally deserves an Oscar for his acting in this film. Playing such acomplicated character as John Skillpa seemed to not cause him anyproblems, so as always all we can say is well done! If you wanted tosee this movie for chills, I do not recommend you to watch it, but ifyou're open to see an interesting life story with lovable and realisticcharacters who could easily be people living next door or who you meetat the nearby store, I think you will really find this movieentertaining and will make you stop and wonder about how normal you andyour life are.