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Genre: Drama
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Josh Lucas, Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman, Keith Carradine, Graham Beckel
Michael Lander
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2010




- Trailer
- Interviews




Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Simply Fun




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.


Androgyny 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.

So 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.

Murphy 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.

Murphy 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.

He 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.

With 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.

Even 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.


This 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.


The movie’s visual transfer is fine, and is available in English 5.1 Surround.



Review by John Li

Posted on 18 October 2010


Other titles from Simply Fun:

. The Blood Pledge

. Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva

. Killers

. Monga

. The Men Who Stare At Goats

. Kaiji The Ultimate Gambler

. Gokusen The Movie

. My Girlfriend Is An Agent

. Crows Zero 2

. Scandal Makers

. Pandemic

. Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea

. Handsome Suit

. 252 Signal of Life

. The Spirit

. Detriot Metal City

. Suspect X

. The Sky Crawlers

. 20th Century Boys

. My Mighty Princess

. The Glorious Team Batista

. Fate

. Attack On The Pin-Up Boys

. Crows Zero

. Hero

. 3:10 To Yuma

. My DNA Says I Love You

. The Last Breath

This review is made possible with the kind support from Simply Fun



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