Breakfast on Pluto (film)
Overview
Breakfast on Pluto is a 2005 comedy-drama film directed by Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan
Neil Patrick Jordan is an Irish filmmaker and novelist. He won an Academy Award for The Crying Game.- Early life :...

 and based on the novel of the same name
Breakfast on Pluto
Breakfast on Pluto is a 1998 novel by Patrick McCabe. The book was shortlisted for the 1998 Booker Prize, and was adapted for the screen by McCabe and Neil Jordan; Jordan directed the 2005 film.-Plot summary:...

 by Patrick McCabe, as adapted by Jordan and McCabe. This dark comedy stars Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes and general sex appeal....

 as a transgender
Transgender
Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles....

 orphan searching for love and her long-lost mother in small town Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in the 1970s.
A glamorously made-up Patrick "Kitten" Braden (Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes and general sex appeal....

), pushing a baby in a pram
Baby transport
Baby transport consists of devices for transporting and carrying infants. A "child carrier" or "baby carrier" is a device used to carry an infant or small child on the body of an adult...

 and flirting insouciantly with construction workers, introduces her life story.
Encyclopedia
Breakfast on Pluto is a 2005 comedy-drama film directed by Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan
Neil Patrick Jordan is an Irish filmmaker and novelist. He won an Academy Award for The Crying Game.- Early life :...

 and based on the novel of the same name
Breakfast on Pluto
Breakfast on Pluto is a 1998 novel by Patrick McCabe. The book was shortlisted for the 1998 Booker Prize, and was adapted for the screen by McCabe and Neil Jordan; Jordan directed the 2005 film.-Plot summary:...

 by Patrick McCabe, as adapted by Jordan and McCabe. This dark comedy stars Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes and general sex appeal....

 as a transgender
Transgender
Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles....

 orphan searching for love and her long-lost mother in small town Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in the 1970s.

Plot

A glamorously made-up Patrick "Kitten" Braden (Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes and general sex appeal....

), pushing a baby in a pram
Baby transport
Baby transport consists of devices for transporting and carrying infants. A "child carrier" or "baby carrier" is a device used to carry an infant or small child on the body of an adult...

 and flirting insouciantly with construction workers, introduces her life story. Intricately plotted, the film is divided over more than 30 brief chapters. In the fictional Irish town of Tyrellin, near the border of Northern Ireland in the late 1940s, cartoon robins narrate as baby Patrick's mother abandons him on the doorstep of the local parochial house where his father, Father Liam (Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson
Liam John Neeson, OBE is an Irish actor who has been nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA and three Golden Globe Awards.He has starred in a number of notable roles including Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List, Michael Collins in Michael Collins, Peyton Westlake in Darkman, Jean Valjean in Les...

), lives. He is then placed with an unloving foster mother. A young Patrick (Conor McEvoy) is later shown donning a dress and lipstick, which angers his foster family. However, Patrick is accepted by his close friends Charlie, Irwin and Lawrence, as well as by Lawrence's father, who tells Patrick that his biological mother looked like blonde American movie star Mitzi Gaynor
Mitzi Gaynor
-Life and career:Gaynor was born as Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber in Chicago, Illinois to Pauline Fisher, a dancer, and Henry von Gerber, a violinist, cellist, and music director. The family first moved to Detroit and when she was eleven to Hollywood, California.She trained as a ballerina...

.

The story is quickly moved ahead to Patrick's late teen years in the early '70s. Patrick gets into trouble in school by writing explicit fiction imagining how he was conceived by Father Liam and Liam's young housekeeper Eily Bergin (Eva Birthistle
Eva Birthistle
Eva Birthistle is an Irish actress, best known for her role in Ae Fond Kiss. She won the London Film Critics Circle British Actress of the Year award in 2004 and has twice won the IFTA Best Actress in a Leading Role award.-Biography:...

) and by inquiring about where to get a sex change. Patrick renames himself/herself as "Kitten," also using the name Patricia. She approaches her father in confession
Confession
This article is for the religious practice of confessing one's sins.Confession is the acknowledgment of sin or wrongs...

, asking about her mother, but is rebuffed. Kitten soon runs away from home, catching a ride with a glam rock
Glam rock
Glam rock is a style of rock and pop music that developed in the UK in the early 1970s, which was performed by singers and musicians who wore outrageous clothes, makeup and hairstyles, particularly platform-soled boots and glitter...

 band, Billy Hatchet and the Mohawks, and striking up a flirtation with leader Billy (musician Gavin Friday
Gavin Friday
Gavin Friday is an Irish singer and songwriter, composer, actor and painter.-Career:Gavin was born in Dublin and grew up in Finglas, a neighbourhood located on Dublin's Northside...

). Billy installs the lovestruck, homeless Kitten in a trailer home where she discovers he's hiding guns smuggled for the Irish Republican Army
Irish Republican Army
The Irish Republican Army was an Irish republican revolutionary military organisation. It was descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organisation established on 25 November 1913 that staged the Easter Rising in April 1916...

. Meanwhile, Irwin (Laurence Kinlan) has begun to work with the IRA, much to the dismay of his now-girlfriend Charlie (Ruth Negga
Ruth Negga
Ruth Negga is an Ethiopian-Irish actress who has starred in Irish films such as Capital Letters , Isolation and Breakfast On Pluto...

). Kitten dismisses Irwin's politics as "serious, serious, serious," but after Lawrence (Seamus Reilly) is killed by police detonating a suspected IRA car bomb
Bomb
A bomb is any of a range of explosive weapons that only rely on the exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy...

, she tosses the IRA gun cache into a lake. Billy abandons Kitten to flee the IRA, while Kitten plays crazy, so that she won't be shot.

Kitten next journeys to London to search for her mother, but initial inquiries prove fruitless. Penniless, she finds shelter in a tiny cottage in a park, only to find that it's a children's entertainment park for The Wombles
The Wombles
The Wombles are fictional pointy-nosed, furry creatures that live in burrows, where they help the environment by collecting and recycling rubbish in useful and ingenious ways. Wombles were created by author Elisabeth Beresford, originally appearing in a series of children's novels from 1968...

. She gets a job as a singing, dancing Womble, but immediately loses it when her sponsor and co-worker (Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson is an Irish actor. His best-known films include Braveheart, Gangs of New York, In Bruges, 28 Days Later, the Harry Potter films, The Guard and the role of Michael Collins in The Treaty...

) punches their boss. Forced into prostitution
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

, she is violently attacked by her first client (Bryan Ferry
Bryan Ferry
Bryan Ferry, CBE is an English singer, musician, and songwriter. Ferry came to public prominence in the early 1970s as lead vocalist and principal songwriter with the band Roxy Music, who enjoyed a highly successful career with three number one albums and ten singles entering the top ten charts in...

), saving herself from strangulation by spraying him in the eyes with Chanel No. 5
Chanel No. 5
Chanel No. 5 is the first perfume launched by Parisian couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. The French government reports that a bottle of Chanel No. 5 is sold every thirty seconds and generates sales of $100 million a year. It was developed by Russian-French chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux...

 perfume. At a diner, magician Bertie Vaughan (Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea is an Irish film and stage actor. Rea has appeared in high profile films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto...

) asks her what she is writing in her notebook. She explains that it's the story of "The Phantom Lady" who was "swallowed up" by the big city, then reveals that it's about the mother she is seeking. Bertie hires her to be his magician's assistant, exploiting her life story in a hypnosis act. The two take a romantic day trip, but Kitten explains that she's not really a girl when Bertie tries to kiss her. Bertie says that he already knew this. Soon, Charlie finds Bertie's show and takes Kitten away.

Next, Kitten goes to a club frequented by British soldiers and dances with a soldier (Dominic Cooper
Dominic Cooper
Dominic Edward Cooper is an English actor. He has worked in TV, film, theatre and radio, in productions including Mamma Mia!, The Duchess, The History Boys, and The Devil's Double.- Early life :...

), only to be injured when the club is bombed by the IRA. When police discover that Kitten is biologically male and Irish, she is arrested as a suspected terrorist. Beaten and prevented from sleeping, she writes a hyperbolic statement, shown in a fantasy spy film spoof sequence. The cops soften, realizing that she is innocent, and release her. Realizing that there is no place for her to go, Kitten begs to stay in the police station, but is tossed to the street. Kitten is again forced to turn tricks, but is saved by one of the cops who interrogated her (Ian Hart
Ian Hart
Ian Hart is an English stage, television and film actor.-Early life:Hart, the grandson of Irish immigrants, was born in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. He is one of three siblings and was brought up in a Roman Catholic family...

). He brings her to a peep show
Peep show
A peep show or peepshow is an exhibition of pictures, objects or people viewed through a small hole or magnifying glass. Though historically a peep show was a form of entertainment provided by wandering showmen, nowadays it more commonly refers a presentation of a sex show or pornographic film...

 where she transforms herself into a high femme blonde. Her repentant father finds her and in a scene that mirrors their confessional scene, professes his love and tells Kitten where to find her mother. She goes to her mother's house posing as a telephone company market
Marketing
Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments...

 researcher and discovers a younger half-brother whose name is also Patrick. She faints upon meeting her mother, but after reviving does not reveal her true self.

When Irwin is killed by the IRA, Kitten goes home to tend to a pregnant Charlie. However, the town reacts against the unwed mother and her transgendered friend by firebombing the parish house. Kitten and Charlie flee to London. In the final scene, they run into Kitten's pregnant mother Eily and little Patrick at the doctor's office, where Charlie is getting post-partum care. Kitten is friendly, but still doesn't reveal her true identity. The robins wrap up the story with irreverent narration.

Cast

  • Cillian Murphy
    Cillian Murphy
    Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes and general sex appeal....

     as Patrick/Patricia "Kitten" Braden
  • Liam Neeson
    Liam Neeson
    Liam John Neeson, OBE is an Irish actor who has been nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA and three Golden Globe Awards.He has starred in a number of notable roles including Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List, Michael Collins in Michael Collins, Peyton Westlake in Darkman, Jean Valjean in Les...

     as Father Liam
  • Stephen Rea
    Stephen Rea
    Stephen Rea is an Irish film and stage actor. Rea has appeared in high profile films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto...

     as Bertie Vaughan
  • Brendan Gleeson
    Brendan Gleeson
    Brendan Gleeson is an Irish actor. His best-known films include Braveheart, Gangs of New York, In Bruges, 28 Days Later, the Harry Potter films, The Guard and the role of Michael Collins in The Treaty...

     as John Joe Kenny
  • Gavin Friday
    Gavin Friday
    Gavin Friday is an Irish singer and songwriter, composer, actor and painter.-Career:Gavin was born in Dublin and grew up in Finglas, a neighbourhood located on Dublin's Northside...

     as Billy Hatchett
  • Ruth Negga
    Ruth Negga
    Ruth Negga is an Ethiopian-Irish actress who has starred in Irish films such as Capital Letters , Isolation and Breakfast On Pluto...

     as Charlie
  • Laurence Kinlan as Irwin
  • Seamus Reilly as Lawrence
  • Eva Birthistle
    Eva Birthistle
    Eva Birthistle is an Irish actress, best known for her role in Ae Fond Kiss. She won the London Film Critics Circle British Actress of the Year award in 2004 and has twice won the IFTA Best Actress in a Leading Role award.-Biography:...

     as Eily Bergin
  • Ian Hart
    Ian Hart
    Ian Hart is an English stage, television and film actor.-Early life:Hart, the grandson of Irish immigrants, was born in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. He is one of three siblings and was brought up in a Roman Catholic family...

     as PC Wallis
  • Steven Waddington
    Steven Waddington
    Steven Waddington is an English actor who is probably best known for his supporting role in Michael Mann's The Last of the Mohicans. He trained at East 15 Acting School in Loughton Essex. His first film role was as the eponymous king in Derek Jarman's Edward II...

     as Inspector Routledge
  • Ruth McCabe as Ma Braden
  • Liam Cunningham as 1st Biker (who introduces song "Breakfast on Pluto")
  • Patrick McCabe as Schoolmaster Peepers Egan
  • Conor McEvoy as Patrick Braden (at ten years)

Production

To prepare for the lead role of Kitten, Cillian Murphy studied women's body language and for a few weeks met with a drag queen who instructed him and took him out clubbing with friends.

Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan
Neil Patrick Jordan is an Irish filmmaker and novelist. He won an Academy Award for The Crying Game.- Early life :...

 and Pat McCabe made big changes to the story in their adaptation of the novel for the silver screen. In the book, the protagonist is called "Pussy," but Jordan and McCabe rename her "Kitten" in the film. Unlike the highly sexual Pussy, who is sexually involved with numerous male and female characters in some rather kinky
Kink (sexual)
In human sexuality, kinkiness and kinky are terms used to refer to a playful usage of sexual concepts in an accentuated, and unambiguously expressive form....

 situations as well as a few long-term relationships, Kitten doesn't even kiss another character on the lips. One sexual encounter for hire is strongly implied, but Kitten is not shown being overtly sexual with anyone on screen. Kitten's flirtatious relationships with the series of male characters she meets throughout the film are never shown or strongly implied to have been consummated, leaving the yearning main character unrequited.

The seaside scene between Kitten and Bertie (Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea is an Irish film and stage actor. Rea has appeared in high profile films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto...

) was considered by some to be an allusion to director Jordan's earlier film The Crying Game
The Crying Game
The Crying Game is a 1992 psychological thriller drama film written and directed by Neil Jordan. The film explores themes of race, gender, nationality, and sexuality against the backdrop of the Irish Troubles...

, which also involved a transgendered major character, the IRA, and actor Stephen Rea. In The Crying Game, Rea's character doesn't realize that the woman he has fallen for and become sexually involved with is biologically male. In Breakfast on Pluto, Kitten confesses that she's "not a girl" before Rea's character can kiss her, and he says kindly that he already knew, but does not follow through with the kiss.

The author of the novel upon which the film is based, co-screenwriter Patrick McCabe, has a cameo in the film as Kitten's creative writing teacher.
Declan Burke also played his part as the leading extra.

Awards and nominations

For his portrayal of Kitten, Cillian Murphy won the 2007 IFTA Award for Best Actor and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.

Neil Jordan also won the 2007 IFTA for Best Director and Jordan and McCabe took home the Best Script IFTA.
Awards
Award Category Name Outcome
European Film Awards Best Actor Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy is an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes and general sex appeal....

Golden Globe Awards
63rd Golden Globe Awards
----Picture - Drama: Brokeback Mountain ----Picture - Musical or Comedy: Walk the Line ----TV Series - Drama: Lost ----TV Series - Musical or Comedy: Desperate Housewives ----Miniseries or TV Movie: Empire Falls ...

Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Cillian Murphy
Golden Trailer Awards
Golden Trailer Awards
The Golden Trailer Awards is an annual awards show that honors achievements in motion picture marketing, including film trailers, posters and television advertisements.- Overview :...

Best Foreign Dramatic Trailer
Best Voice Over
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role in a Feature Film Cillian Murphy
Best Director Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan
Neil Patrick Jordan is an Irish filmmaker and novelist. He won an Academy Award for The Crying Game.- Early life :...

Best Hair & Make-Up for Film Glynn, Lorraine, Lynn Johnson
Best Script for Film Neil Jordan, Patrick McCabe
Best Irish Film (Audience Award)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Feature Film Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea is an Irish film and stage actor. Rea has appeared in high profile films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto...

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Feature Film Ruth Negga
Ruth Negga
Ruth Negga is an Ethiopian-Irish actress who has starred in Irish films such as Capital Letters , Isolation and Breakfast On Pluto...

Best Cinematography Declan Quinn
Declan Quinn
Declan Quinn is an Irish-American cinematographer and a three-time winner of the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography.Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Quinn is one of five children. His four siblings, the most famous of whom is Aidan, are actors...

Best Costume Design for Film Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh
Best Film Alan Moloney, Neil Jordan, Stephen Woolley
Stephen Woolley
Stephen Woolley is an English film producer and director. He is best known for his work with director Neil Jordan, which has resulted in a number of critically acclaimed films including the Oscar-winning The Crying Game....

Best Production Design for Film Tom Conroy
Ljubljana International Film Festival
Ljubljana International Film Festival
The Ljubljana International Film Festival is an international film festival established in 1990 and held annually in Ljubljana, Slovenia....

Audience Award Neil Jordan
National Board of Review Special Recognition For excellence in filmmaking
Satellite Awards
Satellite Awards 2005
The 10th Satellite Awards, honoring the best in film- and television making in 2005, were given on 17 December 2005.-Best Actor - Drama: Philip Seymour Hoffman - Capote*Jake Gyllenhaal - Jarhead...

Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Cillian Murphy

External links

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