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Mister Lonely (2007)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 14 March 2008 (UK)
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In Paris, a young American who works as a Michael Jackson look-alike meets Marilyn Monroe, who invites him to her commune in Scotland, where she lives with Charlie Chaplin and her daughter, Shirley Temple.

Director:

Harmony Korine
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Diego Luna ... Michael Jackson
Samantha Morton ... Marilyn Monroe
Denis Lavant ... Charlie Chaplin
James Fox ... The Pope
Werner Herzog ... Father Umbrillo
Leos Carax ... Renard
Richard Strange ... Abraham Lincoln
Jason Pennycooke ... Sammy Davis, Jr.
Anita Pallenberg ... The Queen
Rachel Korine ... Little Red Riding Hood
Joseph Morgan ... James Dean
Melita Morgan Melita Morgan ... Madonna
Daniel Rovai ... Moe Stooge
Nigel Cooper Nigel Cooper ... Curly Stooge
Mal Whiteley Mal Whiteley ... Larry Stooge
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Storyline

In Paris, a young American who works as a Michael Jackson look-alike 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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | Ireland | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

14 March 2008 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Imitátorok See more »

Filming Locations:

Bocas del Toro, Panama See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,769, 4 May 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$165,831, 3 August 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Melita Morgan who plays Madonna designed her own costume for the film. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Abraham Lincoln: Abe fuckin' Lincoln.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Brows Held High: Spring Breakers (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Lumpungu
Performed by Kankolongo Alidor and Kayoka Ladistas
Licensed courtesy of SWP Records
Traditional
Published by Public Domain
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Terrific moments, messy big picture.
13 July 2013 | by Indie_LockerSee all my reviews

A vast departure from anything Harmony Korine has done, Mister Lonely is certainly a film one has to think about. Like all other Korine films, there is a lot going on. Sometimes we have to accept that certain decisions of his have meaning and certain ones do not, the just exist. This film also simply exists, but we can't watch it without getting curious as to what it is actually trying to say.

The film is about a lot of ordinary people who are celebrity impersonators. The film mainly follows Michael Jackson (Diego Luna) and Marilyn Monroe (Samatha Morton), but there are other ones, such as Charlie Chaplin, James Dean, Little Red Riding Hood, Abraham Lincoln, The Three Stooges, so on and so forth. And they all live together in a desolate mansion and they own sheep, who eventually get infected.

The impersonators live on their own and clearly have aspirations about what they're doing. They don't have much of an audience, although they like to think that they do. Since this is a Harmony Korine film, we can't expect the storyline to carry the film. There are a lot of other elements at play here and the story is merely the background or the canvas for which he uses to paint all over. There is clearly some Malick and Herzog influence at work here and its nice to see dashes of the Harmony Korine we've all come to know.

Unfortunately when the film concludes we're not exactly sure what to take from it, or we felt while we viewed it. While there were certainly some gorgeous shots and some haunting and lasting images, its difficult not to feel that as a film, not everything worked. With a film like Gummo, Korine was able to explore a vast amount of characters and dialog among the backdrop of a fictionalized Xenia, Ohio. Here, we have the celebrity impersonators as well as a priest and a group of nuns in a plane.

What seems to be at play here are a combination of Korine's views of famous American figures, his brief thoughts on religion and fate and who we are as people. As Roger Ebert pointed out, there is this tragic feeling beneath the surface in regards to humans. Are these impersonators going nowhere in life or is this all they can get out of life? Should they learn to love this or shall they die seeking more? These questions are evoked but not completely answered and its nice to think about these things.

Werner Herzog, who actually plays the priest in the film, has the brightest presence and elevates the film whenever he's in it. The actors don't have too much to do, other than stand there and impersonate whoever it is they're impersonating. We can't relate to the characters themselves but merely just the idea of them, and perhaps that makes the viewing experience a little less pleasant. Why is Chaplin acting the way he is towards Marilyn? Why does Buckweat pretend to raise chickens? Do these things have meaning or do they not? What stops this film from being a complete mess are the ideas behind it and the images contained within it. While this can safely be acknowledged as an original and provoking experience, it offers little in entertainment value to the viewer and if anything, complicates our ability to process the film. It is worth watching just for the beautiful moments, such as a nun falling out of the sky and Marilyn Monroe standing in the forest, holding her dress down. But does that shape an entire experience? Not necessarily. There are things to admire here but it's hard to completely admire the picture as a whole.


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