August 11, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Patrick ”Kitten” Braden (Cillian Murphy), an orphan secretly fathered by a man of the cloth (Liam Neeson), escapes his small Irish town to rock out, become a drag queen, and parry political tumult in London. Cross-dressing, cabaret, the IRA — kinda sounds like director Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game, right? ”But no one’s trying to fool anybody,” says Murphy (Batman Begins), whose performance as cheery Kitten was informed by his experience singing with his Zappa-inspired band, Sons of Mr. Green Genes, and hanging with transvestites. ”It’s more a companion piece to The Butcher Boy,” he adds, referring to the director’s 1998 adaptation of the brutal but beguiling book by Patrick McCabe, who also penned Pluto’s literary inspiration. ”It’s really about the survival of innocence in a mad world,” says Jordan. ”About turning tragedy into comedy.”

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135 minutes
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