Sunday, 1 May 2011

I Love You Phillip Morris

Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) is a brazen and astonishingly successful con artist with a wiley ability to get himself out of as well into some amazing situations. Despite his success Russell is imprisoned where he falls in love with fellow inmate Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). Love motivates Russell to lift his con artistry to even further heights.

'I Love Phillip Morris' was made in 2009 and has quietly slipped into Sydney on very limited cinema release after previously having been screened here in even more limited Festival screenings. Apparently the film has also been kept away from general release overseas.

Having now seen the film I find it difficult to understand why distributors seem so reluctant to promote it. Yes the film contains a gay theme and some sex scenes and some moments of violence but all of these elements feature regularly in highly regarded mainstream distributed films and none is present here to a more disturbing level than in those movies.

The film is technically and artistically sound. Is there a concern that it promotes criminal activity? I can't believe that but if so, surely to no greater extent than 'Catch Me If You Can' which also profiles an astonishing con artist. The gay themes are no more controversial than those in 'Brokeback Mountain' and as for violence, well there is so much violence in so many films nowadays that I don't even know where to begin to name examples.

The opening and closing credits indicate that the film relates real events and actual characters. This makes the plot quite remarkable.

I don't know why this movie is being shielded. It is an entertaining enough movie; neither outstanding nor terrible.


  1. I thought this movie was hilarious, and McGregor did a great job.

  2. I just saw it on one of our tv movie channels here in France. I agree: funny movie and Ewan McGregor was fantastic (Jim Carrey was, well, Jim Carrey).

    I'm convinced it's the gay theme and maybe that this happened during GW Bush's tenure as Governor of Texas that are keeping it out of larger circulation. But I'm sure it's destined to become a cult film.

  3. Yes I loved Ewan McGregor in the film but that's scarcely news as I love Ewan McGregor full stop!

  4. Well then Victor, I hope you've seen all the films that have featured Ewan in his, ahem, birthday suit? The Pillow Book, Velvet Goldmine and I'm sure there's a third one but it escapes me at the moment.

  5. Yes Evol, I have seen them. Another film was one where he spent time on a houseboat bedding the married woman who lived there.