Passion Play (2010)
Fox learning to fly, and she does have wings
When one thinks of the term “freak,” certain images generally come to mind. Bearded ladies. Giants. People with extraneous limbs. Who doesn’t come to mind? Megan Fox. Yet sure enough, in Passion Play, Fox portrays a woman with an incredible physical abnormality that results in her becoming a sideshow attraction.
Megan Fox portrays Lily, a woman with wings. The previous statement has nothing to do with her choice of feminine hygiene products. She actually has a real pair of wings attached to her back. Lily is part of a carnival where customers presumably pay ‘2 bits a gander’ for a look at this extraordinary woman and her wings.
Lily’s life is far from ideal, but it gets even more complicated when jazz musician Nate Pool (Mickey Rourke) arrives at the carnival. Pool feels an immediate connection with Lily, and after a knock-down, drag-out brawl with an evil carny (as if there is any other kind), the two are on their way.
Now you may be thinking that the romantic pairing of Megan Fox and Mickey Rourke may seem odd, perhaps. I was trying to come up with a more mismatched pair myself, and the only one I could think of was Gary Busey and Miley Cyrus. However, Fox and Rourke completely pull it off. They are two lost people, looking for someone to connect with, and their relationship is both touching and sad.
Speaking of sad, that brings me to Bill Murray’s role in the film. Murray portrays a gangster named Happy, who is anything but. Nate owes Happy a sizeable amount of cash, but instead he takes Lily as payment. While the character of Happy could have been one-dimensional, the always excellent Murray brings far more to the role. Sure, he’s a gangster who has basically taken this woman like a piece of property, but we also get to see his vulnerable side in his interactions with Lily, and we learn that he too has led a troubled life, and is also looking for a connection.
What can you say about cast of Passion Play? Between Rourke, Murray and Fox, take a look at some of the accolades the stars have piled up. Best Actor, Golden Globe awards. Best Actor, British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Best Actor, New York Film Critics Circle. Choice Female Hottie, Teen Choice Awards. Sexiest Woman in the World, FHM. These actors were bringing a lot to the table.
Unfortunately, despite the star power, the movie was not a financial success. According to Wikipedia, the film earned $2,000 during its theatrical run. That’s not a typo. $2,000! If Bill Murray saw $2,000 on the ground, I’m not sure if he would bother to bend over and pick it up.
To add insult to injury, Mickey Rourke has openly criticized the film on several occasions. Well, Mr. Rourke, you may be a fine actor, but you should stick to that. Leave the film criticism to Roger Ebert, or better yet, myself. Passion Play is a unique, powerful and artistic movie. Terrific performances, and a gritty, film noir feel make Passion Play one that you should definitely check out. If you’re still not sold, I should also mention that you get to see Megan Fox nearly naked, encased in a glass box. Fox in a box, sounds like the title of a saucy Dr. Seuss tale.