I’ve been aching to watch Breakfast On Pluto again for about a week now. Last week I listened to the soundtrack and was becoming ridiculously giddy, even daydreaming about the movie in the car on the way to work. I kept thinking of images and scenes and honestly wondering, “Did I make that up? Is that really in the movie?” Sounds silly I know, but that’s how it was.
So last night I finally got the chance to watch it again for the seventh time.
I have to reiterate my love for and rejoice in the absolutely amazing soundtrack. There are songs on there that fit the movie like the stars fit the sky (to steal a phrase I read once about Teenage Fanclub).
“Sugar Baby Love” is just the epitome of joyous Kittenesque pop and how perfect is it that the movie begins and ends with the song? In the beginning you get a glimpse of how Kitten is now and at the end when you’ve witnessed who she was and where she’s been, it just has so much more meaning.
Other songs such as “You’re Such a Good Looking Woman” could have been written about Kitten herself. There is perhaps no greater metaphor for Kitten’s entire raison d’etre than “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” playing while she trudges through an empty lot, trying not to trip over debris and holding her umbrella high. “Sand” is so perfectly suited to the story that if you don’t feel wistful hearing the line now warms herself with memories then you have no soul! I even find myself looking for relevant subtext in the songs that may not specifically seem to be about Kitten
Jordan was wise to choose three Nilsson songs for this movie because Nilsson truly did have the sort of cheery yet winsome music and lyrics that epitomize Kitten’s simultaneous innocence and world-weariness.
The magical confluence of soundtrack and story in the movie is made even more amazing by the idea that Kitten’s life is a struggle that she is able to face through her love of music and also a journey that is dictated, in a large part, by her love of music. (Of course, a lot of this is due primarily to Pat McCabe’s original novel, but it is fully rendered on screen, when you can actually hear the music while you’re watching the story unfold.)
I remember after seeing the movie for the first time, when I couldn’t get it out of my mind, the only thing that kept me from just collapsing into a Kitten-induced coma, was listening to Nilsson’s Nilsson Schmilsson album, particularly “The Moonbeam Song.” That and obsessively watching the UK Trailer that featured “Windmills Of Your Mind.” It’s fascinating to me that the soundtrack had a way of inserting itself into my life, in that it reminded me of and allowed me to fantasize about the movie, when in the world of the movie, it served a similar function for Kitten.
As for the movie itself, I still cannot believe what a feast for the eyes and heart it still remains. I can also remember in the summer, when all I knew of the movie was the IMDB entry and the one photo of Kitten in her black funeral attire, I was starving for more information and waiting with unreal anticipation for the day I could see it. Seeing the trailer and more stills from the movie blew my mind. I couldn’t imagine that one movie could contain such a treasure trove of imagery! How in the world would all of these elements – Kitten in a suit and tiny felt hat, Kitten in a magic act – fit together into one story?
Now, after seeing this movie seven times, I still get emotional at certain scenes. I still feel like I’m dreaming when I watch the scene with Kitten and Billy outside the hotel. The sexual tension is unbelievable. The purring and meowing! I can scarcely even handle the swing set scenes at Xanadu. It’s almost too much to bear, they are so dreamlike and fantastic.
Much of this is due to Jordan’s terrific direction. I am quite sure I could write an essay on the usage of shadows and mirrors in the film. I think it adds to the whole magical, mystical unreality of it all, how things are not always as they seem, and that to Kitten, darkness lurks behind each lovely, polished reflection and things should be shiny and sparkly even when they aren’t.
I am emotionally devastated during other scenes, too: When Laurence dies. When Billy leaves Kitten. When she sneaks into the Womble hut after not finding Eily. When she meets Bertie in the diner. When she’s hypnotized and doesn’t know it. When she tells the young soldier to pretend his name is Bobby. When she says she’s not very employable. When she realizes that Father Liam is talking about her in the peepshow booth. When she meets her mother. When she returns home to care for Charlie and she almost runs away. When she tells Father Liam that she went looking for her (mother) but found him.
Cillian Murphy owns this movie, despite the masterful hand of Neil Jordan. I can think of no other actor who could have pulled this off, who could have made this character so real. It amazes me that Murphy himself has said he often thinks about Kitten and wonders how she’s doing, like she is a real person. To the non-initiated it may sound crazy, but I feel the same way. I continually feel inspired by Kitten, to try and see the positive in the darkest circumstances. I may not always succeed, but I certainly have changed after seeing this movie and being so deeply affected by this character.
Please, everyone, add your own thoughts!!
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I agree with every single word you've put down here. This movie is perfection to me. And the choice of the soundtrack, cinematography, the innuendos and subtleties...argh, there's nothing to complain about. Imagine if they made an original soundtrack...it would have been a disaster! *g*
I think I've seen this movie from beginning to end at least 10 times, with about five times at the cinemas. I still get teary (in comparison to the first few showings where I'd be literally 'sobbing' through some scenes) at certain moments, notably some of the ones you mentioned. Cillian is the only one who could make this movie work, I think. And the fact that he still thinks about her makes me quite emotional too, for some reason. As for myself, I often find myself discussing with my friend about what is Kitten doing now, how old is she and is her father and friends still around, that sort of thing. Then I feel a weird emptiness because I don't know the answers to those questions, and I'm always hoping that she's happy and well with the ones who love her.