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Peacock

3.8 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Product Description

John Skillpa, a quiet bank clerk living in tiny Peacock, Nebraska, prefers to live an invisible life. Then, in a moment, everything changes. A train caboose runs off its tracks and crashes into Johns backyard and destroys more than the weathered planks of his wood fence. When neighbors descend on the scene, they discover Johns other personality, Emma, for the first time and mistakenly believe her to be Johns wife. This launches John into the glare of the spotlight and eventually shatters the delicate balance of his sanity.

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Director David Lander's Peacock comes off like a combination of Psycho, Sybil, and David Lynch--a rather unholy alliance, but one that certainly makes for compelling viewing. At the heart of this 2010 film, which inexplicably bypassed theaters and went directly to the home-video market, is a character named John Skillpa (Cillian Murphy), a clerk in a Peacock, Nebraska, bank in the 1950s whose mother issues rival Norman Bates's; his recently deceased mom's abuse has left John so peculiar (when it comes to social interactions, this guy makes the Unabomber look well-adjusted) that he has donned a dress, a wig, and makeup and created an entirely separate personality. No one in the sleepy little town knows about "Emma," as "she" calls herself, until a train derailment results in a caboose landing in John's backyard. When neighbors come to check it out, they discover Emma and quickly assume she's John's wife. What's more, a lot of folks, including the mayor (Keith Carradine), who's also John's boss, and his wife (Susan Sarandon), who runs a local women's shelter, as well as both the U.S. Senator running for reelection and his opponent, are determined to make political hay out of the accident. Things quickly become problematic for John, to say the least, as he begins a torturous balancing act that becomes increasingly difficult to maintain. And wait, there's more: dear old Mom also forced John to have sex with a local girl of dubious morals (Juno's Ellen Page), who then gave birth to a son. John, not surprisingly, becomes nuttier and nuttier as the complications pile up. But Emma goes the other way; initially terrified and painfully introverted, she gradually blossoms in inverse proportion to John's weirdness, until she finally devises a plan to put an end to this insane conflict. (The film depends on Murphy's ability to convincingly portray two distinct personalities inhabiting the same body, and he is up to the task; indeed, he makes us believe that neither John nor Emma really knows what the other is thinking or doing.) With a passel of bonus features, including a making-of doc and a look at Murphy's preparations for his role, Peacock is an interesting journey off the beaten path. --Sam Graham

Stills from Peacock (Click for larger image)


Special Features

Making of Peacock
Deleted scenes
Alternate ending
Cillian Murphy rehearsal footage
Downloadable script

Product Details

  • Actors: Cillian Murphy, Susan Sarandon, Ellen Page, Bill Pullman, Keith Carradine
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0037E8HOC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,241 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Peacock" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
As you can see by the previous reviews, the opinions are greatly varied. They all have merit but I have to say I liked it more than I didn't like it.

As for the issue of multiple or fractured personalities, I don't have the expertise to say whether or not they exist, but it is the crux of this film so, depending on your views on the matter, you may need to suspend your disbelief.

Yes. You get, right off the bat, the strong connection to Psycho. Abused son plus dead mom equals crazy son. This son, played by Cillian Murphy will make or break this one for you. Susan Sarandon is present but she's doing what she can with a rather small part. Bill Pullman seems unnecessarily weird and Ellen Page does a very good job even though she's only in a couple of scenes. This is Murphy's movie. The way he plays the parts of John and Emma, I felt, were tremendous. He's screwed up and trapped in a self imposed prison. Through a trick of fate he almost finds a way out through his alter ego Emma. But you see the torment in him and you realize how precarious the situation is. One false move and the whole thing comes crashing down.

The writer/director Michael Lander ripped a couple of pages out of the David Lynch book of film making but as I tend to like Lynch, I wasn't at all bothered. It's a good idea for a movie and all aspects of the production are professional. The soundtrack is way cool and the bones don't show. This is a good, solid, imaginative film. It clocks in at 90 minutes so it won't tax your patience.

But beware. This is not for the casual viewer. If you're into popcorn kind a flix this may not be your cup of tea. If way off beat films are your poison, give it a shot.
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The plot of the movie is a dark pscychological thriller without your usual graphic gore and expected hollywood shocker ending. The story deals with an alter ego or split personality in a man that was abused as a child by his mother. Murphy's performance as Emma is superb. He makes you believe you are watching the transformation of a beautiful, shy and soft spoken woman into a secure, assertive one. I cannot think of any other actor who could have pulled this off as beautifully as he did, since he does have an incredible talent and androgynous features with wig and drag. If you want to watch a great and unique performance, you wont be disappointed.
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Format: DVD
We see a woman busy doing her chores one morning, the last of which is to make a sandwich and leave a note on top of it. Then she goes into the bedroom, takes off the wig she is wearing, and the next thing we know we are watching John get dressed for work. "Peacock" might be a title meant to symbolize the main character played by Cillian Murphy, but it turns out to be the name of the town in which John Skillpa and his alter-ego Emma are living their quiet but divided life. It turns out that John is a momma's boy raised by a not so nice mother. She always took care of him and in the wake of her death "Emma" arrived to take momma's place. The arrangement works quite nicely. John goes off to his dull job in the basement of the town bank, eats the lunch Emma made for him, and dutifully picks up things at the store as instructed by her note. Everything is working fine, and then one day, as Emma is hanging up the laundry, a caboose from a passing train ends up in the front yard. To say that things will never be the same again for John and Emma is a gross understatement. Neighbors meeting Emma assume she is John's wife, the owner of the bank (Keith Carradine) is running for mayor and sends his wife (Susan Sarandon) to set up an event on John's front lawn, and then there is Maggie (Ellen Page), a call girl who Emma learns had been receiving money from John's mother. Curiouser and curiouser.

I checked out "Peacock" because it had Ellen Page in it, and after "Hard Candy," "
...Read more ›
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A peculiar piece. I feel like there was a lot of potential for so much more to happen, although I suppose the point is that what was happening needed to come to a halt, or it would have tumbled out of control. It is a slow-moving film, with no real action, but rather more of an emotional and intellectual sequence. The acting was superb; Cilian Murphy is incredible. I've really only seen him in "Peaky Blinders" and maybe a few small parts in other films. I had no idea how talented he is. The rest of the cast were all outstanding as well
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I enjoy strange, out of the ordinary films, mostly art-type. Peacock delivered on the strange. Cillian murphy gave an extraordinary performance as a man tormented. I highly recommend this movie to those who enjoy movies that are out of the norm. I love Ellen Page as well, she is a very diverse actress and Susan Sarandon was as always, Susan Sarandon !!!
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Format: DVD
If David Lynch shoots a remake of an Alfred Hitchcock classic "Psycho," it will be something like "Peacock." I said "something" because Lynch would have made it much more bizarre and creepy, with an array of eccentric supporting characters. In fact, "Peacock" is essentially a story about one person, a mild-mannered Nebraska bank clerk John Skillpa, living alone in a small house near the railroad track, and the strength of the film lies in the terrific performance of the person who played him, Cillian Murphy.

One morning, a freight train accident nearly kills someone. The accident takes place in the backyard of John's house. This triggers a chain of events that disturb the whole pattern of his life - his life that no one in the small town of Peacock knows anything about.

Though its storyline (if not the character) is very contrived (an election rally, for example), "Peacock" is worth watching for the amazing performance from Cillian Murphy. No wonder the townspeople of Peacock - including Maggie, a young mother played by Ellen Page, and Fanny, the mayor's wife played by Susan Sarandon - didn't notice THAT.

"Peacock," directed by Michael Lander, refused to be categorized. That is fine, but then ... what is it all about? There would be many ways to answer to the question, like a battle within one person, or repressed aspects of one's life, etc. With the brooding cinematography of Philippe Rousselot ("A River Runs Through It"), "Peacock" captures the life of a man in a dark curtained room. It is effectively done, but perhaps we need something more than that.

Some call "Peacock" a psychological thriller. It is, but not in the same way as thrillers with more orthodox themes and narratives.
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