Mister Lonely Harmony Korine

Mister Lonely Harmony Korine
Co-written by Harmony Korine (the brain behind Kids and Gummo) and his little brother Avi, Mister Lonely follows a frustrated Michael Jackson impersonator stationed in Paris (Y Tu Mamá También’s Diego Luna), who is having trouble getting gigs to supplement his panhandling income.

During a high profile appearance at a nursing home, he’s approached by a Marilyn Munroe impersonator (Samantha Morton) and invited to a castle commune in the Scottish Highlands overrun by celebrity impersonators, including Abe Lincoln, Buckwheat and the pope. Things are all well and good until the commune’s sheep herd becomes diseased and faux Munroe’s boyfriend, "Charlie Chaplin,” becomes jealous of the time she and Michael are spending together.

What this all amounts to, believe it or not, is Korine’s most accessible and least WTF? film to date. Who cares that there’s a completely unrelated narrative wherein a priest in Central America (Werner Herzog!) directs a group of nuns to jump out of a plane sans parachutes in hopes of a miracle? For all of Mister Lonely’s weirdness, it’s surprisingly fetching cinema. There’s a sweetness to this stupid movie that’s heightened by the fact that the actors are fully committed to these ridiculously caricatured characters. Any instance where Mister Lonely runs the risk of devolving into a fictionalised version of The Surreal Life is handled well by Korine and aimed toward whatever statement he thinks he’s making about celebrity obsession.

But as is Korine’s M.O., the film never arrives at any deeper meaning about the human condition despite his best attempts, though it’s certainly fun to watch him try. Gorgeously photographed by award-winning cinematographer Marcel Zyskind, look out for the epic slow-mo opening shot featuring Michael Jackson on a mini-bike. Fans of Korine will be into this (Maximum)