Passion Play (tbc)

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Passion Play
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Reviewer BobYuruncle
18/04/2011
Saw Passion Play at it's Toronto Premiere and LOVED it. And so did the screening audience. It got a huge ovation and everyone I spoke to afterwards thought Passion Play was a truly special and original film. It's beautiful and sad and weird and every actor bravely plays against type. It may play better for a older less cynical audience - an audience that is willing to give Megan Fox a chance. The evil hater-bloggers will not give this young girl a break which is a real shame, she is lovely and heartbreaking in the role as Lily, a carny circus freak with wings who comes to the aid of Mickey Rourke's on the lam and down on his luck jazz musician, Nate Poole. Rourke plays against type (and face...) as a Bogart-esque leading man in a romantic - tough guy role. For almost two decades he's been forced into playing variations of a freaky action bad guy (IM, IM2, Sin City, Domino, even the Wrestler). Given what he has done to his face, Passion Play's producers and director took a huge chance casting him opposite young beauty Megan Fox, yet somehow it works. In a way they are perfect together. Outcast's in different ways, they share a world weariness protecting two romantic souls in this surreal fairytale. You can see they really like each other as actors and characters, and you start to forget the 'strange Mickey' as there is a vulnerability in his work here with Fox which we've missed since his old great films like Diner and Rumblefish. Bill Murray plays Happy Shannon, a cold gangster shark who looks like a 60's Michael Caine. Shannon has a jones to get rid of Nate Poole, permanently, to settle a beef involving a woman. Murray imbues his role with a sort of sad humanity and gallows humor that almost breaks your heart. There is a scene between Rourke and Murray at a restaurant booth that is a classic - Do not miss this film.
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