Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Passion Play: Fevvers and Mickey Rourke

While conducting my (ridiculously extensive) Megan Fox research for my Jennifer's Body post last week, I was intrigued - to say the least - to discover the nature of Ms. Fox's next project. It's an indie called Passion Play, directed and written by Brian Glazer and co-starring Mickey Rourke, Bill Murray and Rhys Ifans. A fine cast indeed, but that's not what grabbed my interest.

The movie is about a horn player (Rourke) in trouble with a gangster (Murray) who happens upon a sort of traveling freak show/carnival in which customers pay to look at the beauteous Ms. Fox, who has a pair of wings growing out of her back. Hm. So. Regular readers of this blog will no doubt know of what this made me think. A few months ago, I published a post in which I waxed rhapsodic about Angela Carter's novel Nights At the Circus. To recap: It's about a beautiful young woman (dubbed "The Cockney Venus"), who at one point in this picaresque telling of her life, winds up in a sort of Freak Show brothel where men pay to look at her. Oh, and she has a pair of wings sticking out of her back. I'm not saying there's any sort of plagiarism afoot, as the stories sound otherwise completely different, but it is curious.

The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival to not terribly enthusiastic reviews. I looked at the few clips that are available, and for me the biggest problem was with Roarke. Between his boxing injuries and his perplexing plastic surgery, he almost looks as if he's wearing a poorly rendered Mickey Roarke Halloween mask. The reviews all read as if the writers really, really wanted to like it. It's an intriguing premise, but the execution leaves much to be desired, apparently. It's a sweet fable, they all say, but it has some issues with tone and garnered some bad laughs. People like Ms. Fox in the role of the winged girl, Lily, though paradoxily one or two wished the story was more about her character, rather than her just being an object of desire, or obsession for the men in the film.

Thus far, there is no set release date, which doesn't bode well. Still, I'm very curious. If it does make it to DVD, to the top of my Netflix queue it will go. Below is a clip:

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