Harmony Korine, the enfant-terrible writer/director who gave us Kids and Julien Donkey-Boy, returns after an eight-year hiatus with this surreal, whimsical comedy about an island commune of impersonators. Replacing the acrid harshness of his earlier work with a playful charm, Mister Lonely is a slightly more accessible introduction to Korine's uniquely askew world-view.
Diego Luna (Y Tu Mamá También) plays a disillusioned Michael Jackson impostor whose faith is restored when he meets Marilyn Monroe (Samantha Morton) and she informs him of a magical Scottish island where impersonators are free to pretend to be someone else. Once at the island the pair's obvious mutual attraction develops, but under the watchful eye of Marilyn's vindictive husband, Denis Lavant's Charlie Chaplin. If all of this isn't strange enough, these events are also interspersed with snippets from another storyline involving Werner Herzog as a priest training a group of sky-diving nuns.
"PROPELLED BY AN IMPRESSIVELY ASSEMBLED CAST"
Although seemingly unrelated, both stories are perfect opposites; the impersonators strive for simplicity after a life spent simulating extravagance, while the nuns defy their stringent existence by pursuing adventure. Mister Lonely certainly won't be to everyone's taste, and although the set-up might sound like classic Charlie Kaufman/Michel Gondry territory, Korine is more concerned with humanising his weirdo characters than satirising their desperation. Despite being slightly overlong it's propelled along by an impressively assembled ensemble cast that includes Anita Pallenberg as the Queen and James Fox as an unruly Pope, alongside another performance to savour from the ever-reliable Samantha Morton.
Mister Lonely is out in the UK on 14th March 2008.