User Reviews (59)

  • kimi_layercake19 October 2010
    7/10
    "Strange yet Satisfying Watch, Courtesy of Cillian Murphy"
    "Peacock" is an extremely strange movie. It is based in a small town called "Peacock" where John (Cillian Murphy) is a bank employee and leads a solitary life. What everyone is unaware of is that John dresses up as a woman(calling self Emma) very morning and does all the household chores like cooking breakfast, making lunch, cleaning the house, washing clothes etc. After that, "Emma" dresses up as "John" and begins his day by eating the breakfast, putting on neat clothes, taking the lunch box (all prepared by "Emma"). This routine of "Emma" and "John" continues everyday with no one being aware of the presence of "Emma".Until one day, due some incident, "Emma" comes to the attention of the entire town and everyone thinks of "Emma" as "John's wife". As a result, "John" starts playing "Emma" more often than earlier to avoid unwanted scenarios and a lot happens showcasing "John" troubled mental health and his struggle to keep up with both "John" and "Emma".

    Cast-wise, it's a plethora of talent. Cillian Murphy has always been prodigious actor. It's unfortunate that his performance in this movie didn't get the recognition it deserves. His was probably one of the best performances in the decade. Susan Sarandon, Ellen Page, Josh Lucas all have a small, yet pivotal role, played with intent and unfeigned.

    "Peacock" explores the fragile and unstable mental health of "John" due to an abusive and extremely reserved childhood. It's clear that "John" is suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, but the way both his personalities "John" and "Emma" competes with each others aspects, how they are aware of each others presence but do nothing to avoid it, how both have contrasting perceptions and beliefs, how both try to undo matters done by the other etc are portrayed superbly, but the overall premise is subject to multiple explanations.

    Overall, "Peacock" strangeness lies in the fact that it offers or rather viewer can perceive multiple explanations for the turn of events in the movie. Having said that, "Peacock" is a satisfying watch, courtesy of Cillian Murphy.

    My Verdict: 7/10
  • kcddos30 September 2010
    10/10
    Cillian Murphy in Peacock
    This movie was excellent. The plot was deeper than you would believe. (not according to the vapid response from the first reviewer, which led to my review) Cillian Murphy plays a deeply emotionally disturbed individual, when brought out of his normal routine in his life is faced to deal with who, what and whom he will become. The suspense of such a psychologically deep and suspenseful story will keep anyone with the intellectual capacity to understand said story on the edge of their seats.

    I for one would highly recommend it.

    And yes Cillian Murphy's performance is.... breathtaking
  • trypanophobic3419 May 2010
    8/10
    Great performance by Cillian Murphy
    I'm not sure why this has such a low rating. It's not perfect, or a mind-blowing experience or something, but I thought it was a really interesting story, well-acted, especially with a wonderful performance by Cillian Murphy. It's sort of a Psycho-like story, without ever venturing into suspense or horror.

    It's about an incredibly socially inept, anxiety-ridden young man named John, whose mother has died a year previously and he's been traumatized/psychologically damaged by the loss. He seems to have been both coddled/protected and smothered/extremely isolated by his mother's hermetic, semi-abusive love. She was all he had, exactly because of the way she raised him and formed his relationship to the world. Her upbringing of him, and also to a smaller extent her subsequent death/taking away of herself, both contributed to cripple him in his relationships with others. Not that much is revealed about her even by the end, and I would have liked to know more.

    Cillian Murphy is so interesting and engaging to watch as the Willardesque character John, and the completely different female character, Emma, who is mild, benignant, with a quiet strength. I didn't ever not sympathize with Emma, even though I knew she was calculating. I pitied John, whose face is like a parade of his shifting emotions: his neurotic shyness, anxiety, almost childlike anger, and emotional frustration.

    Cillian even looks different as John; he changes his appearance through his acting: through the way John purses his lips, carries his body, and his nervous facial tics, etc. (you will see what I mean when you see it). When he's Emma, he also looks different in accordance with her different personality. It's not like anything I've ever seen before! He must be doing something right, to be playing a character so different from his usual self, and two characters who are so different from each other, in such a thoroughgoing, immersive way as to be utterly convincing as each. It's like he completely becomes John, and then becomes Emma, and neither is at all "Cillian."

    I think this movie deserves at least a 7. Some people have said that the story isn't that credible, but I didn't find anything wrong or that off about it (it's just that it doesn't really explain everything about his mother or her "true" nature, ultimately), and the protagonist himself is the driving force behind the movie, as he should be. Besides, it's a shame when people can't suspend their disbelief just a little when it's not really that central to the point of the movie and recognize the merit of it. I couldn't help thinking that maybe some people just don't like to see Cillian Murphy in a more humbling or "weird" role, and that's why they didn't enjoy it more.

    I think a better title would have been "Emma," it's simple yet it really suits the movie and makes more of a point than "Peacock," which doesn't really evoke anything apart from just being the name of the town.
  • Gordon-1110 May 2010
    An intriguing drama
    This film is about a young man whose life is radically changed by the death of his mother.

    "Peacock" seems very slow at first, but as the story progresses, it becomes so captivating. The story follows John and the split personality called Emma. The two personalities fight with each other to control the situation. The abrupt ending encourages viewers to think hard about what happens in the film and makes viewers postulate what would happen next. It's clever story telling. Acting by Cillian Murphy is amazing, he is so at ease as Emma and so nervous as John.

    The subject matter of "Peacock" may limit its popularity, which is a pity as this intriguing drama deserves wider recognition.
  • kschiller-217 April 2010
    10/10
    Cillian Murphy deserves an Oscar
    Warning: Spoilers
    One of the best performances I have ever seen.

    If you're reading this, you probably know it's a midwestern Gothic about a split personality. A guy in a small midwestern town who upon the death of his abusive mother, invents a second personality, a woman who puts on mom's wig and dresses and cooks, cleans, gives him grocery lists, etc from behind the tall wooden fence of their gloomy house on the edge of town. An accident unveils the female to the town, they never guess she's him, and as she gets drawn out into the doings of the town, the two personalities battle for control.

    The movie is patient and atmospheric, seemingly inspired by those psychological and wonderfully strange early Polanski movies, Repulsion and The Tenant. There are shots through lace curtains, and just an overall creepiness in lieu of the JUMPS (!) and SCARES (!) of modern movie-making. I liked that. It was a character study. It was subtle, maybe too subtle for the ADD generation. You really have to pay attention or else you miss critical story beats, which are offered subtly.

    Sure, split personality is gimmicky. Aren't we tired of movies using severe mental/psychiatric conditions as the premise for a movie, especially a dark one? The saving grace here is Murphy who brings humanity to the situation. You understand that he was abused on childhood and believe the psychotic break could have occurred. And he humanizes both characters. John, the guy, is a great performance in its own right, one that would get lots of attention if it weren't for the other character, who is kind of a jaw-dropper, Emma.

    You buy her as a totally separate character, you believe the town buys her as a separate character, and somehow, and I don't really understand how Murphy did this, but you also find yourself sympathizing with her agenda, even as you understand it is selfish and dangerous. You just somehow LIKE her. It's a strange to have your own morality turned on itself by sympathy. Quite a trick.

    Page is strong, too, as is Sarandon. But Murphy's performance is as good as any you'll see anywhere ever. He's an actor's actor, and this is the role of his career, so far.

    How does this not get released? How does this not go to Festivals like Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca? That seems a crime, I so wish I could have seen this on the big screen. Beautifully photographed and designed, the resumes of the people involved are strong. I wish I could have seen it with a nice crowd at the Angelika, would have made for a memorable night.

    Well, great that it exists. Go Cillian.
  • dinobird23 April 2010
    8/10
    Cillian Murphy gives an amazing performance--why has no one noticed?
    The film itself probably doesn't rate more than 3.5 stars because the plot of "Peacock" strains credibility a bit, but not nearly as much as it might have without Cillian Murphy's fantastic 5-star performance. In this film, he proves himself an actor with great scope and depth.

    We learn at the outset (thus no spoiler here) that Murphis playing two characters, alternatively adopting the personality of an obviously dysfunctional young man during workaday hours as a bank file clerk--with a notable performance by Bill Pullman as his supervisor--and then transforming into his mysterious female counterpart, each living separate but connected lives in the same house. I'll say no more about the plot other than that it's a very original story, with appropriate nods to a few classics.

    This is no "Tootsie" or "Some Like It Hot" cross-dressing story. This film and Murphy's performance are equally compelling and memorable. See it.
  • Cinnyaste27 April 2010
    8/10
    Lack of release is proof positive the US film industry is in shambles
    Nothing new here. Another reviewer already noted the travesty. This film circumvented theatrical release with direct to DVD. As far as I can tell, it wasn't even entered into film festivals.

    And yet empty pop entertainment receives wide release and huge promo budgets. Guess "Peacock" didn't have the requisite action scene of a car driving through a fruit cart.

    What a heartbreak for the actors. Particularly Mr. Murphy, who acted his guts out in this difficult role. His work was stellar. Bravo, Sir. I'll also wager you may never see another film that underscores Ellen Page' dramatic acting chops.

    My question to those responsible for burying this film is, what the f@!k is wrong with you? With no title recognition, this gem will wither on Blockbuster shelves. Certainly, stranger and darker films are given a chance. Why not "Peacock?"

    Make an effort to see this film. Then turn others on to it. It's not a masterpiece as some say, but it is a slow-building and amazing character study. If you can live without gunshots, high concepts and the venerable screeching car plowing fruit while pedestrians scatter and scream.
  • robocopssadside-128 January 2011
    7/10
    Peacock (2010)
    Warning: Spoilers
    *mild spoilers*

    John, a quirky bank clerk in Peacock, Nebraska prefers to live a life of solitude. Shortly after the passing of his mother, John develops a female split personality named Emma. She is a woman that cooks, cleans, leaves him grocery lists on the refrigerator door, and has every item he needs for work ready in the morning. No one knows the secret that John has until a train derails and comes crashing through his back yard, leaving him unconscious. John, as Emma, awakens to a whole group of confused townsfolk at the scene. However, none of them catches on. They all believe that John and Emma have been carrying on a hush-hush marriage. This, of course, becomes a problem for his private lifestyle, as she gradually becomes a helpful figure in the community.

    It is unfortunate that a film with such a performance from Cillian Murphy has largely gone unnoticed. Peacock garnered no theatrical release, not even a film festival run; it went the dreaded way of straight-to-DVD last year. The story bares some resemblances to Hitchcock's classic, "Psycho"; a slow burning movie, but extremely attention grabbing, due to fascinating characters and the wonderment of where it is taking you.

    Murphy is nothing short of awesome. Words cannot explain it with justice. When he transforms from John to Emma, it is not as simple as just throwing on a dress, a wig, some makeup and speaking with a higher voice. The two characters are like night and day, and at times, it feels as if you are experiencing performances from two very different people. John is an on edge, 'Crispin Glover-Willard' type character, that seems like at any moment could completely snap, or have a nervous breakdown. Emma, on the other hand, is walking tranquility, and completely kind hearted. She is a character that starts out small, but eventually has John pitted against her in a battle for identity.

    The film has a solid supporting cast all around, though, no other character is given anywhere near the depth of John and Emma. Ellen Page plays Maggie, a struggling single mother trying to escape this futureless town, really by any means necessary. Susan Sarandon is Fanny Crill, wife of the town mayor (played by Keith Carradine), and owner of a shelter for young mothers and children. Page and Sarandon stand out the most, aside from Murphy, of course. Bill Pullman plays John's uncaring boss, and I think he may have a total four minutes of screen time. The same goes for Josh Lucas as the sheriff of Peacock.

    This is director Michael Landers' full feature debut, and he in addition co-wrote the script. Judging from how well put together this is; he is definitely someone to keep an eye on. While a movie involving split personalities is certainly not new, this one shines with an interesting story and Cillian Murphy truly giving life to a divided character.
  • TxMike23 September 2010
    Cillian Murphy is superb in this "different" movie among all the cookie-cutter rom-coms.
    Warning: Spoilers
    Some will compare this movie to "Psycho" and while it borrows some elements, it is a quite different story. Some reviews have the movie set in the 1950s, and that is what I first thought, but the car he drives looks like a mid-1960s to early 1970s Chevy.

    Cillian Murphy is John Skillpa, lives alone, works in a bank, and has a very tightly scheduled routine. To say he is obsessive-compulsive is to greatly understate his situation. He has a very rigid conversational tone and seldom looks anyone in the eye. In quick flashbacks as the movie begins we see a somewhat troubled childhood, perhaps even child-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 played by Cillian Murphy. Emma cooks breakfast each morning, puts a plate over it, then goes upstairs, then at precisely 8:15AM John comes down to eat and go to work. Emma wears a dark wig, makeup, and a long dress but only comes out into the back yard to hang laundry, and no one else has ever seen her. Until a train caboose derails and crashes into the back yard. 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 to get out of Peacock, Nebraska. Susan Sarandon is Fanny Crill, activist and wife of the mayor. Keith Carradine is her husband, Mayor Ray Crill. Josh Lucas is police Officer Tom McGonigle. And Bill Pullman is John's supervisor at work, Edmund French.

    The story gets complex and you never really know where it is going next. The best reason to see it is for the performance of Cillian Murphy as both John and Emma.

    MAJOR SPOILERS: John and Emma are the same person, but with two distinctly different personalities and motives. They don't appear to know 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 that Maggie's son is John's, a product of a wild night facilitated by John's mother two years earlier, probably in her own madness as a way to get John "to be a man." Emma fakes John's death, and is set up to try to adopt the boy, but she (he) realizes that the boy is not safe, he might meet the same fate that John did growing up, so Emma gives Maggie money and a ride to get her and the boy out of town and with relatives.
  • kosmasp29 November 2010
    8/10
    Solitary ... "Man"
    Cillian Murphy is really good in this. I actually can almost not think of another actor playing this particular role. It is very demanding and he goes places that I'm sure some people wouldn't dare go (or follow him for that reason). It really is a good movie. A weird little story with great actors all over the place.

    I especially loved the ending, though they seemed to be unsure of how to go, since there are alternate endings on the disc. Very slow and very uncomfortable to watch, it is something that I hope will be cherished by quite a few people. Even if it only gets a home entertainment release (like in Germany) and does not see the light of the cinemas. I dare you to watch it
  • e531215 January 2012
    7/10
    A movie with great psychological content
    Warning: Spoilers
    As a start I have to add that in my opinion this movie was not a thriller. Yet it is really worth to talk about, so here it comes.

    We're facing a quite interesting life here. John, your typical quiet bank clerk is a man with a serious case of dissociative identity disorder, caused by his irregular relationship with his mother in the past, a typical case of Freudian archetypes (usually I disagree with them when talking about the case of the mistakes mothers make when raising their children, but in this very movie I couldn't refer to anything else). In short, ever since the day his mother died, he cross-dresses and pretends to be a nice and friendly woman -who most people think is his wife-, Emma. Fighting the demons of his past, he's starting to loose control. The whole situation is driving him insane, making him unable to stop his alter ego, who seems to be taking over control and doing things he would never do. The ending most likely will not 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 the amount of amazing acting in it. By checking the three main characters, you could already tell that you won't see anything disappointing, at least not at the acting part. And let me make this clear, my high expectations were fulfilled. I think I haven't seen such excellent acting in a really long time, so if the subject doesn't really interest you, 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. Ellen Page (as the main cause I watched this movie for) also did great, the character of Maggie was impossible to not love. The scene when she told Emma how she got pregnant and started crying simply made me wish to be there and hug her. And of course -as most critiques mentioned-, CM really deserves an Oscar for his acting in this film. Playing such a complicated character as John Skillpa seemed to not cause him any problems, so as always all we can say is well done! If you wanted to see this movie for chills, I do not recommend you to watch it, but if you're open to see an interesting life story with lovable and realistic characters who could easily be people living next door or who you meet at the nearby store, I think you will really find this movie entertaining and will make you stop and wonder about how normal you and your life are.
  • Jonny_Yahoo15 April 2010
    8/10
    Really excellent flick.
    Just saw this down at one my favorite local internet theaters and I can tell you that this is definitely one of Cillian Murphy's top performances.

    Of course, Murphy was brilliant in 28 Days Later and downright creepy in Batman Begins but his turn as John Skillpa, a young man apparently tormented by years and years of child abuse, shows the truer depths of his acting range.

    I'm pretty sure this feature will be well overlooked by the Academy Awards, but it shouldn't be as far as I'm concerned as Murphy and the rest of a well picked cast shine in nearly every scene. To be honest, however, I wasn't thrilled with Ellen Page's performance but I believe she did a capable job in the role she played.

    Keith Carradine and an almost unrecognizable Bill Pullman are the other actors of note besides, of course, the pushy but sensitive Fanny Crill played by Susan Sarandon.

    What I can tell you, without spoiling the film, is that it's set in a not too distant rural America where the oddities of life must be kept well hidden for one to survive.

    What is genuinely fresh and interesting though is how the mind of John Skillpa chooses to handle the forced revealing of a secret he's kept under wraps for quite some time in a quiet house where no one would suspect there was anything out of order.
  • frankverdiii17 April 2010
    9/10
    It's Creepy & It's Spooky, Mysterious & Kooky
    Great movie although it didn't go where I thought it was heading - There may not have been a better actor for this role than Cillian Murphy - As usual Ellen Page is an endorsement for any film & this indie role suits her to a tee - The rest of the cast is notable - The film contains stunning photography (not of majestic mountains) and images that appeared perfectly constructed for a very visual movie - Well crafted script with many scenes where a single word delivers the next chapter of the storyline - Highly recommended for the moviegoer who likes to be emotionally drained as well as entertained - Almost from the start, this is an edgy film where it feels like something is just about to happen and there is little expectation of that something becoming anyone's successful pursuit of happiness.
  • gradyharp3 July 2010
    10/10
    Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Fascinating Case Study as Drama
    Warning: Spoilers
    The dictionary defines Dissociative Identity Disorder as a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities or personalities (known as alter egos or alters), each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment'. The disorder is not genetically based, but rather the result of a severely abusive childhood often associated with sexual abuse and markedly disturbed parenting experiences. PEACOCK is a little film that despite a superb cast of some of our strongest actors and a fine script by writer/director Michael Lander and Ryan O Roy never was seen in theaters but instead sent directly to DVD. Hopefully this fact will not deter audiences form renting or buying this film: when the quality of films that fill the theaters with 3D cartoons, gross-out pseudo-adult comedies, and CGI horror exercises that grow more droid-like with each year are ultimately evaluated by serious film buffs, then movies such as PEACOCK will eventually come into their own.

    Peacock, Nebraska, 1950s, and everything is bland and perfect: people work at their jobs, greet each other, seemingly knowing everything that goes on in this tiny town. In this placid place John Skillpa (Cillian Murphy) rises every morning at the same hour, eats a breakfast prepared for him and accompanied by little notes, goes t work at the bank where he is a quiet reclusive but wholly dependable exemplary employee. His supervisor (Bill Pullman) depends on his punctuality and thoroughness, and his boss Connor Black (Graham Beckel) notes is solid reputation as an important employee. No on inquires about his strange house where he lived with his psychotic mother hidden from the town: since childhood John had suffered beatings and abuse and as he grew to maturity his sick mother forced him to have intercourse with a young girl Maggie (Ellen Page) while she watched, and when Maggie gave birth to Jake the mother supplied Maggie with money to stay away from John. A year ago John's destructive mother died and John's fractured psyche became divided into two characters - John the regimented worker and Emma (Cillian Murphy en trasvesti) who serves John with wifely functions - and it is John the town knows until a strange train accident occurs, releasing a caboose into the backyard of the Skillpa home while Emma is hanging laundry. This 'introduction' of Emma is noted by nosy neighbors, by the sheriff Tom McGonigle (Josh Lucas) who finds John the next day and explains he will help John and his 'wife' get reparations from the train company.

    The train accident and the associated photo of Emma at the scene opens the town to her 'existence' and events begin to change: Emma is visited by Maggie who learns of John's son Jake an offers help to Maggie; the town's mayor Ray Crill (Keith Carradine) wants to use the Skillpa residence for a party for his campaign for Senate and Ray's wife Fanny (Susan Sarandon) befriends Emma and hopes the proposed benefit will aid her involvement in her shelter for young mothers. The crisis polarizes the two aspects of John/Emma: John wants for everything to return to the way it was, Emma wants to help Maggie and Jake in any way she can. The Dissociative Identity Disorder begins to reassemble the real John Skillpa: one of the two forms of the personality must be discarded and it is this choice that provides the rather startling conclusion to this enthralling film.

    Cillian Murphy gives a bravura performance as John/Emma, so much so that we the audience can understand every nuance of this divided person. All of the roles - Susan Sarandon, Ellen Page, Josh Lucas, Keith Carradine and Bill Pullman - are played with the finesse we have grown to expect from these fine actors. The cinematography is by Philippe Rousselot and the effective music score is by Brian Reitzell. The director Michael Landor is new and as a debut film he has produced a work that is deserving of special recognition when it comes to awards time. When a cast such as this one opts to participate in a little independent film for little financial compensation, we should pay attention. This is an extraordinary film, a film that deserves a very wide audience.

    Grady Harp
  • PeachHamBeach8 September 2010
    10/10
    An incredible accomplishment
    Warning: Spoilers
    WARNING: POSSIBLE MAJOR SPOILERS

    I have read some of the negative user reviews around here for this film and I am just not getting where these people are coming from. I'd also just love to know what in holy hell happened with the distribution in the US? I've watched this film 3 or 4 times and I cannot believe how criminally dismissed and ignored it's been.

    PEACOCK is the story of John Skillpa, a bank clerk who is habitually reclusive, easily agitated in the company of others. Living in such a small town usually means everyone knowing all of your business, and your secrets, and John has a huge secret that he has managed to keep. His mother has passed away a year ago, and he now has a companion, Emma, who fills the ideal wifely role...making him breakfast, keeping house, and generally taking care of him. It seems Emma came into his life when he needed her most, because without his mother, he is lost. This is in spite of the facts you will learn about his mother. The staggering complexities that come with abuse and codependency are deftly explored and presented without prejudice.

    One day, while Emma is out getting laundry off the line, a train uncouples and crashes into the yard, nearly killing her. It is here that the sheltered and securely ordered lives of John and Emma are completely knocked off kilter. Nobody knew John had a wife, or whatever she is, and when they meet her, they are taken with her gentle personality, so unlike her twitchy husband that will barely let anyone shake hands with him. The train incident puts John and Emma in the spotlight. Neither of them are comfortable with that, but Emma slowly warms to Fanny, the mayor's wife (Susan Sarandon), who is trying to raise money for a womens' shelter in town. Emma also gets to know a woman named Maggie (Ellen Page) whose history with John is probably some of the most disturbing stuff I've ever encountered in film, and there are no visuals. Page describes the horror verbally, without gory details, and still, the impact is like a nightstick into your stomach.

    Meanwhile, John is overwhelmed with panic and anger at the loss of privacy with a caboose in his yard. He sees the influence Fanny is having on Emma and doesn't like it. He'd like things back the way they were. His paranoia increases with each passing day as he realizes Emma is getting involved in the lives of Maggie and the son that he fathered.

    This is all I'll say about the plot. The cast is one reason I am appalled at the way this film was treated: Susan Sarandon, Ellen Page, Josh Lucas (as a kind-hearted cop, one ancillary character who seems to know a little more about John than the other townfolks), Keith Carradine, Bill Pullman, and above all, Cillian Murphy. Yes, I admit to being a rabid fan of Murphy's talent and a shameless admirer of his exquisite physical beauty, but with this film, that beauty was hidden away, and without any distractions (those enormous sapphire eyes are nowhere to be seen), I was forced to pay attention to nothing but the acting in the actor. Through the use of make-up and costume, John and Emma are two characters, John with his haggard, fragile, gaunt face and ill-fitting suits, Emma with her porcelain complexion and long, dark hair. But it doesn't stop there. Murphy uses body language, voices and especially his facial muscles to construct two separate people. While he is effectively feminine as Emma, he is completely UNRECOGNIZABLE as John, and the last time I saw an actor pull of such a transformation was Billy Bob Thornton manipulating his face to create Carl Childers in SLING BLADE.

    SPOILER below?

    Some reviewers seem confused about the ending. Let me say this again: Without Mom, John was lost, no matter how evil she was. She raised him to depend on her totally. In Emma came a replacement for Mom, along with the same danger that Mom was all about, and John realizes it the moment he learns of his son's existence. There is the original ending and an alternate ending and you can choose which one you prefer. Who ended up the dominant personality? Who prevailed? Can the surviving person choose to stop the cycle of violence and abuse?

    Atmospheric, stylish, intense, with superb acting and nothing less than excellence in filmmaking overall, including a sublime musical score, PEACOCK is a masterpiece which was atrociously overlooked.
  • 8/10
    Heartbreaking
    Warning: Spoilers
    A brilliant movie like "Peacock" hardly gets a look-see while drek drowns our screens. Oh yes, that demographic thing of teenage pimply boys out to see the stickemups and blowemups rule the roost of the film industry.

    Cillian Murphy, an actor who never disappoints and Ellen Page of equal calibre give incredible performances in challenging roles.

    I've only seen it the once so far but I hear from other aficionados that it's worth a second and third look due to its subtleties which might be missed upon viewing first time around.

    Astonishing performance is the accolade I would offer Cillian's performance, worthy of an Oscar for all it brings to the role. And so believable.

    8 out of 10
  • Phil.Gee29 May 2010
    7/10
    Compelling Movie
    Warning: Spoilers
    ...Spoiler right at the beginning of this review...

    This movie might have earned a 9 if not for the non-ending. Maybe I'm not that deep, but I like a finite ending, or at least something that suggests a finite ending, rather than just a fade to black with the main character sitting in a chair.

    The story involves a troubled young man with a split personality: He's a painfully shy, neurotic male bank clerk, and he's also his own "wife," with the two personalities often at odds with one another. ("I'm my own boss. My wife can't tell me what to do," the male personality declares stridently to the town sheriff.) The plot essentially profiles the clash between these two halves of the person. As I mention in the title of this review, this is compelling stuff, as the lead actor is superbly convincing in both roles. As others here have suggested, this is an Oscar-worthy performance.

    Too bad the writer and/or director didn't have an ending.
  • tfmiltz28 December 2014
    9/10
    An American Opera without the music
    This movie is something you might expect if Freud and Hitchcock got together for an evening of drinking and writing.

    You never really do know what will happen next.

    Sybil comes to mind I suppose.

    The entire childhood is the Greenroom (Louise Fletcher Sybil "What happened in the green room Sybil").

    This movie could have gone many ways.

    It will not haunt you, but it will leave you in subtle shock I think at the margins of human experience.

    Maybe it erodes the margins - it dances on the edges of maps.

    In fact, they SHOULD have put in Dylan's My Back Pages - but it's probably best no anchor to reality is made in a soundtrack etc.

    After all this isn't Juno.

    All I know is the description said a train wreck changes a small mid western town unexpectedly.

    And I do say- that was an accurate assessment.

    a Clark bar anyone?
  • macblackslair7 September 2012
    8/10
    Disturbing movie with an outstanding Cillian Murphy
    If you want to see an actor exceeding himself in a quite disturbing setting, you should give "Peacock" a try. Cillian Murphy plays the quite quiet bank employee John Skillpa who keeps his life and his whereabouts to himself. One of these aspects is Emma Skillpa, a second personality John has developed in secrecy. In the mornings, Emma takes - nicely made up and dressed - care of John's breakfast, lunch, and everything else a husband might have to do. After breakfast, John takes over and leaves for yet another day at work. Everything changes, though, when Emma is accidentally presented to the public and people in town are suddenly aware of her existence. Things start to turn and John's life is about to change dramatically.

    A fantastic Susan Sarandon, a bittersweet Ellen Page, and a believable Josh Lucas play alongside Cillian Murphy who portrays both John and Emma convincingly. The pace of "Peacock" seems just fine and increases as it is supposed to be. I liked the directing of "Peacock" because it creates suspense and despair at the same time and catches the audience's attention nicely. The soundtrack is a wonderful addition to the somehow depressing settings of John's home and his office at work.

    People looking for a movie that simply looks and feels good, will presumably not enjoy watching "Peacock". It is absolutely nothing to be seen in between or just to have a good time. The audience is forced to deal with John's mind, his life, and his past. Some questions might even be left unanswered after watching, but this also depends on the audience and the attention people pay.

    I was truly satisfied with this movie and the actors' performances. Too bad "Peacock" did obviously not get the attention it deserves.
  • Michael O'Keefe14 January 2012
    8/10
    Expect the unexpected.
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is a super Indy film. Be prepared for a well acted low-budget psychological thriller. The subject matter will be found a bit quirky. The sleepy little town of Peacock, Nebraska finally has some excitement when a train jumps its track and crashes into the backyard of a mild mannered bank accountant John Skilpa(Cillian Murphy). John is shy and very introverted following the death of his mother, who subjected him to abuse until her passing. The community doesn't realize this tormented soul suffers a severe identity disorder. The freakish train accident will make John's problem very vulnerable and prompts him to descend deeper into his psychosis. I was hoping that Ellen Page would have had a stronger role; but she makes the best of what she is given. Bill Pullman becomes easy to dislike as John's supervisor at the bank. Everyone should agree that Murphy is outstanding in this role. Also in the cast: Susan Surandon, John Lucas and Keith Carradine. There will be some disturbing material and a scene of violence. I would love to say more; but I want you to be surprised and enjoy PEACOCK for yourself.
  • Sally Warner26 February 2011
    8/10
    Absolutely riveting
    Warning: Spoilers
    Lets be honest here I think Cillian is amazing on any day, OK so Sunshine wasn't a wonderful movie but I still liked him in it.

    Cillian Murphy is amazingly psychotically bad in "Red Eye" and fantastically whimsical and engrossing in "Breakfast on Pluto". In this movie he is absolutely believable as the off the edge, damaged, suppressed, introverted and terrified of everything John and the outgoing confident and all over wonderful Emma. Helped by the coverings of the clothes of the day both roles are absolutely spot on.

    Ellen Paige's role lacks the edge of complete confusion that should have gone with the interaction with the two characters and omission of the script rather than the actress.

    This has only just arrived on video in New Zealand but it is an absolute gem. There are a couple of great touches that highlight really well just how the characters are coping with the situation and they really help illustrate just how repressed and covert things had to be behind closed doors.

    The film is a really slow build and it is worth the wait. Untypical of the breed you are left with the wonder of how they all would have been after it ended. The sign I think of a satisfying movie - you get to be involved with the people and feel for them. I would have loved to have seen it on the big screen but no such luck although I will try to get the local arty theatre to put it on their list.
  • Ted Brown29 May 2010
    5/10
    worth the watch a nice change of pace
    Peacock is a very interesting, and original film. It tells the story of a small town bank clerk named John Skillpa, who has a very big secret. Little do his fellow towns people know that John also has a split personality, that happens to be a female. This causes him to dress as a woman to do chores for John, and to also cook him breakfast every morning. After a freak train accident in his front yard during his daily chores, he finds himself having to work extra hard to hide his other half from the towns people, and at the same time, trying to stay on top of the ongoing battle between his two halves.

    Let me start by saying, this movie is far from a easy watch. Before I felt comfortable reviewing it, I ended up watching it a total of three times. It tends to leave a lot of questions to be answered by the audience on their own without ever confirming it within the film itself. So your first time through, you may find yourself confused to some degree. The acting in this movie is pretty amazing especially the lead Cillian Murphy playing both the role of John and his other personality Emma. In a time of endless remakes and cookie cutter scripts, Peacock is a very nice change of pace if you're willing to watch it with a open mind, and give something different a shot. This film won't be for everyone and honestly its more drama slash thriller than horror, but in the end I recommend you at least try to make it through it, and if you manage to do that you'll be rewarded with a real treat.

    5/10 - Ritualistic The Liberal Dead http://liberaldead.blogspot.com
  • carlylyn5 August 2010
    10/10
    My eyes are bleeding from watching Cillian Murphy's awesomeness
    Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is as suspenseful as No Country for Old Men, as well directed as There Will Be Blood, and probably one of the best performances of an actor that I have ever seen.

    After watching Inception and being reminded that Cillian Murphy and Ellen Page existed, I loaded a bunch of their respective films into my Netflix queue. This one just blew me away.

    I was on the edge of my seat with my hands over my face the whole time and saying repeatedly "This is so tense! I can't stand it!" Cillian Murphy manages to play both a beautiful, fragile woman and a deeply disturbed man all at the same time.

    I think everyone who has ever wanted to be an actor or who appreciates good acting, should rent Peacock.
  • violetsky_26 April 2010
    9/10
    A spellbinding piece of independent film
    Warning: Spoilers
    Peacock like many other films about emotionally disturbed individuals is a character study, however strong performances by the lead actors and Michael Lander's visual storytelling push it to be something of a delightful anomaly.

    Peacock is a portrait of a man, John Skillpa who is a victim of child abuse, played expertly by the Irish thespian Cillian Murphy. He is also suffering from a great loss, and in his grief he invents an alter ego by the name of Emma. What is notable about Murphy's dual role is his attention to detail - differentiating the withdrawn and short tempered John from the graceful and attentive Emma, demonstrating his skill as an actor and not solely relying on the magic of movie makeup. Cillian Murphy has established himself as one of the most under-appreciated and under-rated actors of his generation. The supporting cast of Bill Pullman, Susan Sarandon and Ellen Page give nuanced portrayals of rural folk in 1960s Nebraska.

    Enigmatic, elegant and poignant.

    There is no spectacular twist at the end, and frankly this film does not need one. If one pays careful attention to the narrative it is neither convoluted nor patronizing to the audience. A masterful feature film debut by Lander, it is a wonder this was not picked up for wider distribution. If Hitchcock made Psycho a drama in the 2000s, this would be it.
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