'Bruno' premieres in London to raucous reception and rave reviews
"Bruno" unspooled last night in London and star Sacha Baron Cohen came to the premiere in character as the over-the-top gay fashion reporter. Accompanied by a coterie of men all clad in the same sexed-up version of a Buckingham Palace guard's uniform as he was, Baron Cohen held court with the media. As he explained to the AP when asked about his choice of outfit, "I just wanted to do something that was flattering for the Royal Family. Something that the Queen — I'm not talking about Elton John — would really appreciate."
Last month, Sacha Baron Cohen dropped in on the MTV Movie Awards dressed as Bruno. Flying through the air with less than the greatest of ease, he landed in a rather compromising position on Eminem. The rapper appeared outrage, storming out of the kudofest and generating heaps of headlines. Not surprisingly, it was soon revealed that the crash landing was actually staged and Eminem was a willing participant.
Baron Cohen certainly knows how to generate interest in his films. Three years ago, he arrived at the Toronto filmfest screening of "Borat" dressed as that film's equally outrageous title character in an ox-cart pulled by several women. "Borat" went on to score a staggering 97 among the cream of the crop of critics surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes and an impressive 89 at Meta Critic.
Baron Cohen won the Golden Globe for his performance but "Borat" was bested in the musical/comedy picture race by "Dreamgirls." And he shared in an adapted screenplay Oscar nod for bringing his TV character to the big screen; William Monahan won for "The Departed."
Baron Cohen and three of the other writers from "Borat" have reunited for "Bruno" with Emmy winner Larry Charles once again directing. Gordon Smart of the Sun summarized the plot of the 85-minute comedy: "The film follows the camp presenter’s bid for fame in LA after he is sacked from his beloved fashion show on Austrian TV for bringing a Milan catwalk show to a standstill with his all-in-one Velcro outfit. The scene is utterly brilliant and wipes the smiles from the faces of the snooty fashion world."
Following last night's screening, John Hiscock of the Telegraph said, "With Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen seemingly pushed the boundaries of cinematic bad taste and outrageous humour to the limit. With Brüno, his gay Austrian fashionista character, he goes further. Much, much, further. Gross and downright offensive at times, this movie is not for the squeamish, but it is impossible not to laugh while at the same time wincing with embarrassment at the lengths to which Cohen goes."
And Steve Ross of the Guardian thought, "Beneath the idiocy, Baron Cohen is also a politically astute agent who's devised an ingenious way to confront and expose serious social issues -- and indulge his own exhibitionism."
Photo: Universal Pictures