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Mister Lonely


Stars: Diego Luna, Samantha Morton, Denis Lavant, James Fox, Anita Pallenberg, Richard Strange, Werner Herzog

Director: Harmony Korine

Although there's the core of a wistful, offbeat perspective on loneliness here, Korine's melancholy, beatifully shot but terminally slow (and some might say batty) movie fails to put it across.

Luna plays a Michael Jackson impersonator who entertains on the streets of Paris. He meets a Marilyn Monroe impersonator (Morton) who invites him to join her commune of others who pose as the famous - it's not clear what she's doing away from it in the first place - in the Scottish Highlands 'where no one ages...there's nowhere like it on earth'.

Once there, though, Luna finds that no one seems especially happy, from a hard-cursing Abe Lincoln, through a sad-eyed Sammy Davis, disgruntled James Dean, the Queen of England, the Pope, the Three Stooges, Madonna and more. Morton's husband, a Chaplin lookalike (Lavant) is forever grouchy and their marriage seems rocky despite their Shirley Temple-imitating daughter.

This story is briefly interspersed with one about nuns 'flying' - i e free-falling over the South American jungle. Neither segment seems destined to end happily. There are more scenes here, too, of people doing nothing than in the last series of Big Brother but, if you've always wanted to see James Fox dressed as the Pope, crying in a bath in a woodland glade, while being loofahed by a little black boy, then your prayers are answered here. Says Luna at a late stage 'It must come to an end.' And so it does.

David Quinlan

UK/France/Panama/US 2006. UK Distributor: Tartan. Fujicolor.
112 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 08 Mar 2008