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The Man from Elysian Fields (2001)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 3,423 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 71 user | 44 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

A failed novelist's inability to pay the bills strains relations with his wife and leads him to work at an escort service where he becomes entwined with a wealthy woman whose husband is a successful writer.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Susan Barnes ...
Attractive Woman
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Bartender
Asha Siewkumar ...
Receptionist
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Restaurant Patron
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Storyline

Byron Tiller, happily married with a young child, is a writer whose last novel has ended up in the remainder bins. Down on his luck and struggling to make ends meet, he keeps bashing away, refusing to admit that perhaps he is not that good. One day, at wit's end and feeling sorry for himself, he meets someone who has actually read his book: a rather elegant looking Englishman who introduces himself as Luther Fox. Luther runs an escort agency Elysian Fields, which provides extremely wealthy women with attractive, intelligent dates. Desperate for any job- and Luther guarantees good pay and convinces him that it can be only temporary -Byron reluctantly agrees, keeping the whole thing hidden from his wife. He soon finds himself face-to-face with an extremely attractive woman, whose aging husband is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist grappling with a novel that may be his last. Before long, Byron finds himself immersed in a world that he finds almost impossible to believe and even harder to... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Wealth affords the ultimate extravagance. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 November 2002 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

The Man from Elysian Fields  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,294 (Hong Kong) (29 November 2002)

Gross:

$1,431,625 (USA) (17 January 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production was limited to 30 days because the financing ran out. See more »

Goofs

At the book signing near the end of the film, Byron signs the name "Georgette" in the book for the woman named Yasmine. The next woman in line reveals her name to be Georgette. See more »

Quotes

Tobias Alcott: Be careful of women who love you just the way you are - it's a sure sign they settle too easily.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the credits, the main characters have cameos with titles of the characters they play See more »

Connections

References The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Smart and Intelligent
31 December 2009 | by See all my reviews

Being in the arts is difficult. It's damn near impossible to make a living doing something in this field because everyone wants to do it, and so much is gambled onto one product. Just look at all the hopeful actors and actresses who wait tables while praying for a big break into the movie business. You either hit it big, or end up in the gutter; there's hardly any middle ground. That is the situation that allows the events of George Hickenlooper's near masterful film, "The Man from Elysian Fields" to take place.

Byron Tiller (Andy Garcia) is a writer; he's got one book under his belt, but sales were in the tank. After his next book, which he spent 7 years working on, is rejected, he needs money...fast! Help comes from a man down the hall, named Luther Fox (Mick Jagger). He runs an escort service. Reluctantly, Byron agrees, which puts him into contact with Andrea Alcott (Olivia Williams), and her husband Tobias (James Coburn), who is a renowned author. But his newfound road to success may just cause him to lose his marriage to Dena (Juliana Margulies).

The acting is top notch. Andy Garcia plays Byron in his usual low key way, but he brings a level of depth to the character that is not usually seen in many films. Mick Jagger defies the trend of music stars churning out bomb movies because they can't act. Jagger plays Fox with a cracking wit, but he also is able to give the character some extraordinary depth. Olivia Williams is terrific as Byron's beautiful client. She loves her husband dearly, but she needs a release that he can no longer give her. Fortunately for her, Tobias understands that, and is perfectly fine with her sleeping with Byron. James Coburn is terrific as Tobias. Tobias is a dying writer who has accepted his fate with wit, if not grace. But he still has his pride. TV star Juliana Margulies has made only a few ventures into film, but she fits right in as Byron's loving and devoted wife.

Although the film has flaws, they are not with the screenplay. Simply put, this is one of the best screenplays I have ever heard. Every line has immense depth and intellect, and the wit crackles. There are a number of brilliant one-liners (the best one is not shown in the trailer, thank God). However, these are not the one-liners that appear so often in a David Spade movie. Instead, these are just very clever.

The problems I had with the film is that when the film enters dark territory, such as when it shows Byron at his most desperate, it becomes unpleasant, and it ruins the spell that the movie works so hard to cast. This is partly due to George Hickenlooper, but mainly because the actors play their parts so well.

This is a must-see for any adult film-goer who appreciates films with wit, depth and rich characters.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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