WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
John (Cillian Murphy) leads a double life. By day, he's a timid bank employee, but once he returns to his home every evening, he adopts his deceased mother's clothing, and becomes her. When a freak accident reveals the presence of his feminine alter-ego, everyone in town assumes the woman is John's wife. Soon, the female side of John begins to dominate his personality, especially once it's discovered that John has fathered a child with the town prostitute (Ellen Page).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
PEACOCK is not at all the film it's being marketed as. For some reason, Lionsgate totally bypassed a theatrical release for PEACOCK, despite the presence of rising stars Cillian Murphy, and Elen Page- not to mention a stellar supporting turn by Susan Sarandon. It's been sent straight to DVD, under the guise of a horror film, which is what the trailers, website, and DVD cover are desperately trying to make it look like.
Ignore all that, because PEACOCK is not remotely a horror film. It's best described as a psychological thriller/character study, and while I found it a bit tedious and boring, I can't deny that it features an excellent performance by Cillian Murphy. This is his second time in drag (the first being BREAKFAST ON PLUTO), and I gotta say- he looks GOOD as a woman. His slender frame, and somewhat androgynous features lend well to this type of role, and he's utterly convincing as the tormented John, and his more confident (re: domineering) alter-ego.
I was less impressed by Ellen Page, who I think might be a bit too contemporary to play the small town prostitute in this period film (it takes place in the late fifties/early sixties). She's not bad, but I think the filmmakers might have been better off casting someone who was a little less of a marquee name, and could disappear into the role like Murphy did.
Despite the fact PEACOCK is being dumped, it gets a respectable slate of extras. First are some deleted scenes, and an alternate ending . Overall these don't impress all that much, but the rehearsal footage , and featurette give us some insight into Murphy's method in playing this challenging role. In a bit of a retro move, we also get the script through use of a DVD-ROM, which is something you don't see much of these days.
PEACOCK's not a particularly great film, but Murphy's performance makes it worth seeing, if only to appreciate what a talent he really is. However, if you're expecting a the horror film it's being sold as- stay away.