Identity Theft

Diega Luna and Samantha Morton play obsessive Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe impersonators who meet in Paris.

Tribeca Film Festival 2008, April 23-May 4
Mister Lonely
Directed by Harmony Korine

Screenplay by Harmony Korine and Avi Korine

Starring Diego Luna, Samantha Morton, James Fox, Anita Pallenberg, Denis Lavant, and Werner Herzog

113 minutes

From USA

By Mary Lyn Maiscott

Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe—two tragic figures (well, in Michael’s case, perhaps the jury is, so to speak, still out). Who would want to exchange identities with them? In Harmony Korine’s new film, Mister Lonely (and how great to hear uninterrupted that emotional Bobby Vinton song), we soon learn the answer: a young man and a young woman so unhappy with themselves that they choose to live full-time as their impersonations—along with a group of similar misfit/lookalikes that include the Three Stooges, Abe Lincoln, the Pope, Queen Elizabeth II (played by Stones muse Anita Pallenberg) and, natch, Madonna, all living in a castle commune in the Scottish Highlands with a flock of beloved sheep. Not unexpectedly from the director of Gummo, this bizarre setup begets many bizarre sights, such as the Three Stooges armed with rifles to fulfill a sad mission and a tiara’d Queen in bed with the Pope. The movie also has a parallel story involving an alcoholic priest pilot (Werner Herzog) and miraculously sky-diving nuns, which, though it has its charms and allows for exhilarating visuals, I found ultimately puzzling. But no matter: Diego Luna (Y Tu Mamá También) and Samantha Morton (fittingly zoftig here) are lovely and affecting as Michael and Marilyn, two peas in an odd pod who discover you can’t get away from yourself or life’s problems (in Marilyn’s case caused mainly by a sadistic “Charlie Chaplin”)—but find very different ways of dealing with that fact. And then there’s the egg song…

**** (4 stars)

This entry was posted in Anita Pallenberg, Diego Luna, Harmony Korine, Marilyn Monroe, MICHAEL JACKSON, Mister Lonely, Samantha Morton, Werner Herzog. Bookmark the permalink.