John Skillpa is a quiet bank clerk living in tiny Peacock, Nebraska, who 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. A train caboose runs off its track and crashes into John's backyard. When neighbours descend on the scene, they discover Emma for the first time and mistakenly believe her to be John's wife. This launches John into the glare of the spotlight and eventually shatters the delicate balance of his sanity. He must then fool the town into believing him and his alter ego are man and wife. But a young struggling single mother, Maggie holds the key to his past and sparks a battle between the personalities.
is a term which refers to the mixing of masculine and feminine
characteristics. And one name in show business which comes
to mind whenever we hear that name is Cillian Murphy. No,
this Irish actor isn’t really known for cross dressing.
In fact, before the mega hit that was Inception (2010), he
was a charm in Red Eye (2005) and The Wind That Shakes the
Barley (2006). But did you know about his wonderful performance
in the transgender drama Breakfast on Pluto (2005)? The image
of Murphy’s Patrick “Kitten” Braden has
stuck in our mind. Go Google it to believe it.
here comes this little seen movie starring Murphy as a man
who dresses up as a woman to, well, you have to see it to
figure out for yourself.
plays John Skillpa, a quiet bank clerk who stays in a place
called Peacock, where he lives a quiet life. What his townsfolk
do not know is that, behind the polite man lies a personality
– a woman who does chores and makes breakfast every
morning. Yes, John Skillpa dresses up as a woman before he
goes to work every morning. “She” is his wife,
Emma Skillpa. A train accident occurs in this rural town,
and what follows subsequently is a psychological revelation.
effortlessly nails down this role with his androgynous look.
While this may hurt some Hollywood hunk’s inflated male
ego, we say it with all compliments. Murphy portrays the mentally
disturbed role with care and detail so well, one cannot possibly
take his eyes off the screen throughout the movie’s
90 minute runtime.
is joined by equally talented actors Ellen Page and Susan
Sarandon who play a single mother and a girls’ shelter
owner respectively. These two actresses command screen presence
every time they appear. Supporting roles are filled by Josh
Lucas and Bill Pullman.
these names in the cast credits, it is a wonder why this Michael
Lander directed movie did not get the attention it deserves
in USA. The plot setup is intense and the development is nail
biting. The cinematography is pleasing to the eye, and the
music score is grippingly beautiful. Your emotions go along
for the ride, because red herrings are dropped along the way,
while you empathise with John and Emma Skillpa’s tormented
and mystifying lives.
when the movie comes to an end with its final scene, you will
be left guessing what really happened. No clear answer is
given as you have been invited to a mind game, one that begins
as the end credits roll.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Code 3 DVD contains a Trailer and some short
Interviews clips with the cast and crew of
the movie. Too short, in our opinion, given the many aspects
of the production they could talk about.
movie’s visual transfer is fine, and is available in
English 5.1 Surround.
by John Li
on 18 October 2010