BREAKFAST ON PLUTO
Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea
Available on DVD - browse here
Review by David Edelstein
You’ll be singing along to the soundtrack of Neil Jordan’s enchanting Breakfast on Pluto, which boasts the most felicitous use of wall-to-wall pop songs I’ve ever heard. T. Rex’s “Children of the Revolution” is a special treat, and while I hoped never to hear Bobby Goldsboro’s “Honey” again in this lifetime, in context it’s extraordinarily winsome. The tone throughout is an improbably cheerful plaintiveness.
Jordan adapted the movie with Patrick McCabe from McCabe’s novel. (They also made The Butcher Boy together.) Their small-town Irish hero/heroine—as the title would suggest, a farther-out Holly Golightly—is Patrick “Kitten” Braden (Cillian Murphy). In chapters with superimposed titles he tells the story of his life, beginning with being dumped by his mother on the steps of a church, where the priest, Father Bernard (Liam Neeson), squeamishly hands him off to a brusque foster mother. She’s none too happy when she finds the 10-year-old Patrick (played by Conor McEvoy) modeling her dresses: She warns him that the next time she’ll make him parade through the street dressed like that, and he says, “Promise?”
Jody (Forest Whitaker) teaches Fergus (Stephen Rea) a lesson he’s not going to forget in a hurry in Neil Jordan’s 1992 Oscar winner, The Crying Game.
“A scorpion wants to cross the river. But he can’t swim. He goes to a frog, who can, and asks for a ride. The frog says, if I give you a ride on my back, you’ll go and sting me.
The scorpion replies, it would not be in my interest to sting you, since I will be on your back we both would drown.
The frog thinks about this logic for a while and accepts the deal. He takes the scorpion on his back, braves the waters, halfway over he feels a burning spear in his side and realises the scorpion has stung him after all.
And as they both sink beneath the waves, the frog cries out: why did you sting me Mr. Scorpion, for now we both will drown!
The scorpion replies: I can’t help it. It’s in my nature.”
Jody (Forest Whitaker) tells Fergus (Stephen Rea) everything - except that one thing about his girlfriend Dil (Jaye Davidson) - in this memorable monologue about the frog and the scorpion in 1992’s The Crying Game.