Breakfast on Pluto

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

In this comedic drama based on the novel by Patrick McCabe, miserable Patrick Braden (Cillian Murphy) has always wanted to be a girl. Besides his friends Irwin (Laurence Kinlan) and Charlie (Ruth Negga), his schoolmates taunt him constantly. Even the village priest (Liam Neeson) seems uncomfortable around him. After discovering hes adopted, Patrick leaves the small North Ireland village in search of his biological mother. Decked out in feminine attire, he introduces himself as Kitten to a band of traveling musicians. The bands leader (Gavin Friday) begins an intense love affair with Kitten that ends abruptly when the band leader must choose between his lover and his allegiance to the Irish Republican Army. But Kittens newfound freedom to be himself gives him courage to extend his search for his mother to London. There he meets Bertie (Stephen Rea), a magician captivated by this young girl. Kitten eventually finds his/her niche through his enduring lifelong friendship with Charlie.

Viewers are forced to wade through some sordid, sleazy adventures with Patrick/Kitten. Penniless and jobless in London after his liaison with Bertie ends, he prostitutes himself, posing as a woman. One customer pretends to be attracted to him and then almost chokes him to death. In a strip bar, Patrick/Kitten is befriended by the nude dancers, and he begins sewing costumes for them. Hes even suspected of being an IRA operative who blows up a club filled with British soldiers. A brutal beating by police and an arrest add to his woes. Along with his homosexual lifestyle, many f-words and profanities contribute to the offensiveness. On the positive side, the priest redeems himself, and Charlie refuses to have an abortion after her lover is killed. Patrick realizes that at last his life has purpose and that Charlie and her baby need him, even though he continues to live as a woman. Preview suggests skipping Breakfast.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Sony Pictures Classics

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times mild (damn 1); moderate (wh-re 1, h-rny 1); strong (-ss 1, b-tch 1, SOB 1)

Obscene Language: Many (53) times strong (f-word 51, d-ck 1, other 1)

Profanity: Several (9) times moderate (G 1, good L 1); strong (J 4, C1, JC 1, C-sake 1)

Violence: Several times mild (fake blood used to make magic trick look like woman sawed in half); moderate (retarded boy killed in explosion, IRA sympathizers set fire to club and shoot man point blank, man suffers brutal police beating, priests house set on fire by townspeople, gun threats, fighting, male prostitute almost choked to death by customer)

Sex: Few times moderate (flashback of priest having sex with maid with no nudity)

Nudity: Few times moderate (dancers in strip club with uncovered buttocks and breasts)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (Irish Catholic considers abortion, boy expelled from school for writing sexually explicit essay, priest leads dialogue with adolescent boys about their sexuality)

Drugs: Several times mild (musicians drink heavily); moderate (bikers offer pot to teenager)

Other: Empathy for boy who from early childhood wanted to be female, was not accepted by his family and searches for biological mother; true friend accepts misfit exactly as he is; priest refuses to face responsibility for sexual relationship; magician hypnotizes subject and makes a fool of him in public.

Running Time: 129 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.