6.9/10
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24 user 27 critic

The Adventures of Sebastian Cole (1998)

In June, 1983, in Dutchess County, New York, Sebastian Cole joins his mother, step-father, and sister for dinner. Hank, Sebastian's step-father, drops a bomb: he announces he's changing ... See full summary »

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Hank / Henrietta
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Mary
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Joan Cole
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Hartley Cole
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Jessica Cole
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Grandmother Cole
Tom Lacy ...
Grandfather Cole
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Troy
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Wayne (as Russel Harper)
Greg Haberny ...
Jimmy Bogardus
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Principal
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Susan
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Woman In Dessert
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Chinatown
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Storyline

In June, 1983, in Dutchess County, New York, Sebastian Cole joins his mother, step-father, and sister for dinner. Hank, Sebastian's step-father, drops a bomb: he announces he's changing sexes. Sebastian's sister splits immediately for California, and his mother takes him back to England. Jump ahead eight months, Sebastian is back in New York, knocking on Hank's door. Hank (now Henrietta, although all the surgeries aren't complete) takes Sebastian in and is his rock over the next few months of high school. Sebastian's "adventures" are mostly self-destructive. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and crude sexual references, and for some substance abuse | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

23 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Abenteuer des Sebastian Cole  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,598 (USA) (6 August 1999)

Gross:

$100,041 (USA) (15 October 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Shea and Margaret Colin also play a divorced couple in Gossip Girl. See more »

Goofs

Though set in Dutchess County, NY, most of the locations shown are actually in neighboring Ulster County, NY (e.g. the liquor store is in Kingston, NY - the high school is Onteora Jr/Sr High in Boiceville, NY) See more »

Quotes

Sebastian Cole: First I have to live a little so I have something to write about.
Henrietta Cole: So, for the time being, you're just going to live a little?
Sebastian Cole: No, I'm going to live a lot.
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Soundtracks

Bitter
Performed by Alice Temple
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User Reviews

 
Subtlety and sincerity and a great sense of time and place
1 February 2001 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Rarely does a film capture with any kind of authenticity the subtleties of the qualities of a particular time and place. When it does so it is something that can be appreciated not for standing out from the story but for becoming integral to the fabric of the narrative. The "Adventures of Sebastian Cole" achieves this rare unity of time, place, character and story and it does so in the most unassuming way. The atmosphere of Sebastian's world is undeniably one of normalcy and yet it is also undeniably beautiful and rich with possibilities for anything. In this world even the smallest of pleasures, the smallest of adventures takes on a sublime quality and seems ready to infect the future of the character with an understanding and appreciation of his youth. We can appreciate everything about this story for being small and unassuming and yet alive. Sebastian's confusion and "posing" seem somehow sincere and he remains likeable as the protagonist. As the story unfolds, watching Sebastian Cole lead his life of adventure, no one could possibly feel unable to identify. There is something very genuine in the story and lives of the characters. At the same time there is a deep sense of loss, of delusion, of dislocation. There is something intangible about this film, something that goes beyond story and plot. The characters are both likeable and despicable. The acting is almost flawless and a pleasure to watch, Clark Gregg is never over the top in his role as Hank/Henrietta. There is very little moralizing, very little hitting over the head with a message. The story is presented as a slice of life and we are allowed to fill in the blanks and make judgments for ourselves. It is, overall, a film that reminds you a life is always a complicated, disappointing and wonderful thing and always what you make it.


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