6.5/10
2,857
44 user 31 critic

Metroland (1997)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 21 August 1998 (UK)
The sudden reappearance of his best friend Toni, after ten years absence, causes Chris to remember his past, to question some of his lifestyle decisions and to re-evaluate his life and marriage to Marion.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Marion
...
Toni
...
Annick
...
The Retired Commuter
...
Henri
...
Joanna
...
Dave
...
Mickey
Boris Terral ...
Jacques
...
Punk Girl
Bill Thomas ...
Middle-Aged Commuter
Bethan Fairbairn ...
Amy
Daisy Fairbairn ...
Amy
Del Bartle ...
One of The Subverts
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Storyline

After ten years absence Toni, Chris's best friend, suddenly reappears in London to bring chaos and doubt into Chris's calm, tranquil, slightly boring, predictable life. Chris starts to remember his carefree youth as a photographer in Paris when he lived with and enjoyed a torrid affair with Annick. It was also in Paris that he first met and fell in love with Marion. The temptations and pressure exerted on Chris by Toni to return to their former carefree life of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll soon starts to have an impact on Chris's marriage. He starts to question his values, his lifestyle choices and his relationship with Marion and even suspects her of starting an affair with Toni whom she dislikes! Eventually circumstances come to a head and Chris is forced to decide whether to follow Toni back to the hedonistic, irresponsible life of his youth or face the harsh realities of the present and stay with Marion. Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Metroland is not a location - it is a state of mind.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1998 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Keskellä elämää  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$26,682 (USA) (9 April 1999)

Gross:

$299,463 (USA) (4 June 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1977. See more »

Goofs

When sitting in the Pub talking about sleeping with "other" women and having sex with the same person for so long, the song heard on the juke-box in the background is Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing". Although an early version of the song had indeed been recorded in June 1977 and even received significant airplay in London, the particular version heard wasn't recorded until mid 1978. See more »

Quotes

The Retired Commuter: It doesn't matter where you go. Metroland isn't a place. It's a state of mind.
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Soundtracks

Sultans Of Swing
Composed by Mark Knopfler
Performed by Dire Straits
Published by Ronson Music (London) Ltd.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
And by kind permission of Mercury Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
No, it's not. It's eight pints of lager with an erection.
27 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film adapted from a novel by one of England's best writers, Julian Barnes, was a story to anyone who has been married for a while. Set mainly during 1977, the drama focuses on Chris (Christian Bale) and Tony (Lee Ross), who grew up together in suburban England a decade earlier.

Chris is now happily married to Marion (Emily Watson) and has a baby daughter. Tony has never settled down. A surprise visit from his childhood friend causes Chris to reassess his present life and to remember his days working in Paris; there he lived with Annick (Elsa Zylberstein), a young, liberated French woman, before he fell in love with Marion.

Bale and Watson were superb in this film. He fantasizes about how his life would have been had he not gotten married. Tony is trying to convince him to give it all up, and Marion is trying to save her marriage.

There is a lot of nudity and sex, but none is gratuitous. It all adds to the story and , at times, is funny, especially when he was new at sex in Paris.

The most interesting part of the film consists of two related scenes. he tells Tony that he is "content." Maybe that is the best you can hope for from an Englishman. His wife asks later if he is "happy." he says, "If not now, never." That is certainly, to me at least, not a ringing endorsement. Maybe again, it is particularly English.

The film was very enjoyable, and the only criticism I would have is the graininess in the middle. I am beginning to like Bale more and more.


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