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Mister Lonely (2007)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  14 March 2008 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 5,238 users   Metascore: 53/100
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In Paris, a young American who works as a Michael Jackson lookalike meets Marilyn Monroe, who invites him to her commune in Scotland, where she lives with Charlie Chaplin and her daughter, Shirley Temple.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Melita Morgan ...
Nigel Cooper ...
Mal Whiteley ...


In Paris, a young American who works as a Michael Jackson lookalike meets Marilyn Monroe, who invites him to her commune in Scotland, where she lives with Charlie Chaplin and her daughter, Shirley Temple.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

14 March 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Imitátorok  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$9,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$16,769 (USA) (2 May 2008)


$165,831 (USA) (1 August 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In an interview with a newspaper in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn., Harmony Korine stated that he made several trips to Iceland to scout locations for the film. He ended up ditching that idea altogether and shooting the film in Scotland and France. See more »


The shape of the nuns' parachutes are visible as they are falling from the plane. See more »


Michael Jackson: It's hard to always laugh when you don't know what people find so funny.
See more »


Mr. Lonely
Performed by Bobby Vinton
(p) 1962 Sony BMG Music Entertainment Inc.
Licensed courtesy of Sony BMG Commercial Markets (UK)
Written by Bobby Vinton / Gene Allen
Published by © 1962 Ripley Music Inc.
Licensed by Edward Kassner Music Co. Ltd
Used by permission, all rights reserved
See more »

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User Reviews

Oddball parlour
25 September 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Harmony Korine returned to the cinematographic circuit after a 8-year long hiatus, no longer a prolific and controversial teenager, now evolved in style, subtlety, film language and self-conscience. Apparently inspired by his own failings in life Korine delves into the wacky world of celebrity impersonators - of people not satisfied with who they are and acquisitioning the personas of others in a search for betterment and happiness. Michael Jackson (Diego Luna of "Y Tu Mamá También" fame) does the moonwalk on the streets of London, dancing and acting his part in front of passerby's while the boom-box stays conspicuously silent. Upon a chance meeting with Marilyn Monroe (Samantha Morton) he decide to join an impersonator community living off the land on a island near the Scottish coast. There amidst Charlie Chaplin, Abraham Lincoln, the Stooges, Madonna and James Dean he finds an idyllic bubble of happiness. The catalyst for the Utopian self-destruction comes in the form of a sheep disease, which forces the motley band to kill and burn their carcasses. With it burning the feeling of safety and detachment from worry.

"Mister Lonely" also features a second thread running parallel and seemingly unconnected with the main storyline. It tells the story of a group of nuns, who believe that through the power of faith they are able to fly. Their pilot - a catholic priest Father Umbrillo is adorably played by Werner Herzog, a adequate comrade in arms for Korine given the strong metaphysical essence of his work. Albeit seemingly disparate, the two interloping stories basically deal with the same issue of striving to become an ideal - through faith fulfilling the will of god or by imitating the semblance of perfection of the impersonated celebrity.

The theme chosen for his career reboot seems like very fortuitous and ripe for the picking by a avantgarde artist such as Corine. Dealing with a relatively abundant production budget Corine pulls no stops to deliver a visually perfect movie, proving beyond a doubt his immaculate taste for picture and music, seamlessly constructing beautiful albeit absurd imagery (Michael Jackson riding a mini bike to the song "Mister Lonely", flying nuns of BMXs or face-covered yoga training). Astounding vivid and mesmeric with a strong premise the overall artistic success is pretty obvious, especially in comparison the the raw predecessors. Albeit not entirely style over substance Corine fails to balance the ideas and images with a passable story. No longer a chaotic collage of relatively unconnected scenes ("Gummo"), structured around the island community "Mister Lonely" feels overly improvisational and uninspiring, as if guided by a belief that populating the movie with oddballs (in true Wes Anderson hollowness) and quirking up the ante will suffice to keep the audience intrigued for two hours. The characters themselves are uninspiring, once the novelty of their wackiness wears off becoming a group of doubly faceless individual (neither truly the personas they attempt to recreate nor fleshed out individuals behind the mask).

The grading for Corine is somewhat generous given my issues with his efforts, much owed to the admiration of topics touched as well as some utterly magnificent scenes. To some extent the flying-nuns storyline offers just compensation for the ramblings on in other sequences. A well toned, beautifully portrayed effort with a grim overtone, featuring an unbelievable entry scene, where Werner Herzog donned as a priest confronts a man over his unfaithfulness. Apparently a true event it transcends the overall value of the movie, however capturing an unmistakable feel of Herzog's documentary endeavours and strictly pointing in which direction Corine seems intent on heading.

The biggest misstep however is a pretty ridiculous reinvention of Paul Thomas Anderson's "Wise Up" sequence... albeit with a different song and sung by a bunch of talking eggs...

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