January 3rd, 2010



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Still of Josh Lucas and Cillian Murphy in PeacockStill of Susan Sarandon and Cillian Murphy in PeacockStill of Bill Pullman and Cillian Murphy in PeacockStill of Susan Sarandon and Cillian Murphy in PeacockStill of Ellen Page in PeacockStill of Cillian Murphy in Peacock

A train accident in rural Nebraska gradually unveils a mystery involving the town's bank clerk.

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 6.1/10 (4,536 voted)

Director: Michael Lander

Stars: Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Susan Sarandon

John Skillpa, a quiet bank clerk living in tiny Peacock, Nebraska, prefers to live an invisible life. This might have to do with John's secret: he has another personality no one knows about, a woman who each morning does his chores and cooks him breakfast before he starts his day. Then, in a moment, everything changes...

Writers: Michael Lander, Ryan O Roy

Cillian Murphy - John / Emma Skillpa
Ellen Page - Maggie
Susan Sarandon - Fanny Crill
Josh Lucas - Officer Tom McGonigle
Bill Pullman - Edmund French
Graham Beckel - Connor Black
Keith Carradine - Mayor Ray Crill
Eden Bodnar - Louise Sternberg
Chris Carlson - Neil
Flynn Milligan - Jake
Virginia Newcomb - Doris
Jaimi Paige - Wanda
Nathan Christopher - Cal
Richard Latch - Mack
Tate Hustedt - Brian Sternberg

Taglines: If he only knew what she was doing.


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 3 Jan 2010

Filming Locations: Denison, Iowa, USA

Technical Specs

Runtime: USA:

Anachronisms: The Clark candy bars seen at the start (at 05:25) have modern plastic wrappers with barcodes.

[first lines]
Mother: [in overlapping voices and moods like memories] I'm doing this because I love you. John. You know what happens... I warned you. I warned you, John. This is what you'll turn into. I warned you. Don't talk to anyone. Why would you keep things from me! Look at me. Look at me, John. Look at me. John! Don't look at me unless I tell you to. You ruined it. Don't talk to anyone. Don't talk to anyone. Don't you keep things from me! I'm doing this because I love you. Don't move a muscle unless I tell you.

User Review

Cillian Murphy deserves an Oscar

Rating: 10/10

One of the best performances I have ever seen.

If you're reading this, you probably know it's a midwestern Gothic about a split personality. A guy in a small midwestern town who upon the death of his abusive mother, invents a second personality, a woman who puts on mom's wig and dresses and cooks, cleans, gives him grocery lists, etc from behind the tall wooden fence of their gloomy house on the edge of town. An accident unveils the female to the town, they never guess she's him, and as she gets drawn out into the doings of the town, the two personalities battle for control.

The movie is patient and atmospheric, seemingly inspired by those psychological and wonderfully strange early Polanski movies, Repulsion and The Tenant. There are shots through lace curtains, and just an overall creepiness in lieu of the JUMPS (!) and SCARES (!) of modern movie-making. I liked that. It was a character study. It was subtle, maybe too subtle for the ADD generation. You really have to pay attention or else you miss critical story beats, which are offered subtly.

Sure, split personality is gimmicky. Aren't we tired of movies using severe mental/psychiatric conditions as the premise for a movie, especially a dark one? The saving grace here is Murphy who brings humanity to the situation. You understand that he was abused on childhood and believe the psychotic break could have occurred. And he humanizes both characters. John, the guy, is a great performance in its own right, one that would get lots of attention if it weren't for the other character, who is kind of a jaw-dropper, Emma.

You buy her as a totally separate character, you believe the town buys her as a separate character, and somehow, and I don't really understand how Murphy did this, but you also find yourself sympathizing with her agenda, even as you understand it is selfish and dangerous. You just somehow LIKE her. It's a strange to have your own morality turned on itself by sympathy. Quite a trick.

Page is strong, too, as is Sarandon. But Murphy's performance is as good as any you'll see anywhere ever. He's an actor's actor, and this is the role of his career, so far.

How does this not get released? How does this not go to Festivals like Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca? That seems a crime, I so wish I could have seen this on the big screen. Beautifully photographed and designed, the resumes of the people involved are strong. I wish I could have seen it with a nice crowd at the Angelika, would have made for a memorable night.

Well, great that it exists. Go Cillian.


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