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NYFF: “Breakfast on Pluto.”

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"Oh, serious, serious, serious!"Escaping grim socio-political realities through fabulousness is fast becoming its own genre — add Neil Jordan‘s "Breakfast on Pluto" to the pile with "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," all films about finding oneself (and refuge) in glamour, glitter and indulgent pop songs even though one’s surrounding circumstances are less than welcoming to any of these things. "Breakfast on Pluto," an amiable, poignant, but ultimately minor work from one of our favorite filmmakers, is the tale of Patrick Brady (Cillian Murphy), or "Kitten," as he soon christens himself, who was abandoned as a baby and whose fondness for trying on his adopted sister’s dresses and makeup clearly mark him as not meant for life in a small, conservative Irish town, even in the 70s. Patrick learns that his mother, once the prettiest girl in town and fabled to have born a strong resemblance to actress Mitzi Gaynor, was spotted in London, and sets on off an odyssey to find her.

Patrick often speaks about how he loves stories, and the film’s power comes from the trappings of his narration (divided into snappy picaresque chapters) and the role of tragedy-prone, ebullient heroine he assigns himself, laid over what is actually an often unhappy story of a young gay orphan thrown out of his home, subject to several violent run-ins with the IRA, taken advantage of in varied ways on the streets of London, and eventually arrested and brutally interrogated about a crime he didn’t commit. Patrick’s charm is in his gleeful refusal to engage reality (he’s often asked "Can’t you take anything seriously?", when plainly he’d have been crushed by despair long ago if he did, a point hammered in less than subtly several times), and the film takes his side, with whimsical touches like a subtitled Greek chorus of robins and visualizations of some of Patrick’s wilder fabrications, and, most prominently, a swelling and superb period soundtrack (Patrick’s particular favorite is Bobby Goldsboro‘s ridiculous "Honey").

Cillian Murphy’s unnerving presence and strikingly androgynous looks have thus far led an ever-creative Hollywood to typecast his as evil and mildly gay; here, obviously, he comes on a little stronger, but there’s a slyness to him that’s at odds with his character’s starry-eyed optimism. Indeed, after a while, one wishes there was a bit of that to Patrick — his much-vaunted bobble-headed coping techniques make him less endearing than, say, John Cameron Mitchell‘s gloriously embittered Hedwig, who at least knew when to tell people to sod off.

"Breakfast on Pluto" opens in limited release on November 18.

Click here for all the NY Film Festival reviews thus far.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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