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Young Adam (2003)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 9,904 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 109 user | 109 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

A young drifter working on a river barge disrupts his employers' lives while hiding the fact that he knows more about a dead woman found in the river than he admits.

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Title: Young Adam (2003)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Therese Bradley ...
Gwen
Ewan Stewart ...
Daniel Gordon
...
Bill
Pauline Turner ...
Connie
Alan Cooke ...
Bob M'bussi
...
Sam
...
Freight Supervisor
Andrew Neil ...
Barman
Arnold Brown ...
Bowler Hat Man
Meg Fraser ...
Stall Woman
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Storyline

Joe, a rootless young drifter, finds work on a barge travelling between Glasgow and Edinburgh, owned by Les and his wife Ella. One afternoon they discover the corpse of a young woman floating in the water. Accident? Suicide? Murder? As the police investigate and suspect is arrested, we discover that Joe knows more than he is letting on. Gradually we learn of Joe's past relationship with the dead woman. Meanwhile an unspoken attraction develops between Joe and Ella, heightening the claustrophobic tensions in the confined space of the barge. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

river | barge | drifter | dead woman | coal | See more »

Genres:

Drama | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

26 September 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Young Adam  »

Box Office

Budget:

£4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$50,278 (USA) (16 April 2004)

Gross:

$767,240 (USA) (13 August 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ewan McGregor's nude scenes were originally going to be cut from the U.S. release, but after McGregor objected, the full-frontal nude scenes were put back in. See more »

Goofs

The chords heard as Les plays the guitar change, but his fingers don't move. See more »

Quotes

Joe Taylor: I think she went to a bridge fully dressed and stood there breathing the warm night air. And she took off her jacket and folded it neatly on the ground. And then she unbuttoned her blouse and undid her brassiere and let it drop down on top of the other clothes. And she'd unbutton her skirt and let it slip down over her hips. And then she'd unroll her stockings and hold them out so that they blew in the breeze like penance before she let them float off into the night. And she'd shiver and ask ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

THE GREAT WESTERN ROAD
Written & Performed by David Byrne
Published by Moldy Fig Music (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

Quietly Sexually Charged
31 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the more quietly desperate films of recent past, Young Adam is an interesting study of lower working class characters - working poor, perhaps – set against an idyllic Scotland river life we have probably never seen. That working barges ply streams with bridges so narrow that crew must guide the craft along by kicking the tunnel-like sides of passage and canals and rivers are so pastorally picturesque is an awfully artful examination of a simpler time.

Joe (Ewan McGregor), a hired hand laboring on a barge-of-all-trades is the bad-boy promiscuous lover of any and all girls within contact. Torrid sex with any and all of them is his single-minded purpose, we gather at first. But we quickly find he 1.) is or was a writer – (failed or perhaps more correctly never-started) 2) is linked to a body found in a river and 3) is seemingly incapable of or devoid of emotion. But we are going to alter some our judgments of Joe as more is revealed.

Sexual promiscuity confined to abrupt, even relentless encounters is the main character's focus even though we know it is as unfeelingly given as it seems to be received. In one encounter, nearly violent in its depiction, we cannot see the face of his partner as she cries (or is she laughing?). Interestingly lit, we marvel at this singularly stark depiction of lust. Ella (Tilda Swinton) and her husband Les (Peter Mullan) have employed Joe on their barge and it is not long before we see how Joe has changed the dynamic in the marriage. It is with Les that Joe recovers the body of a woman floating in the river. Curiously Joe cannot manage the use of a boat hook to snare the woman's body; Les has to take over.

The story becomes one of determining who the woman is and how she fits into the story. Through flashbacks we see a disturbing development as as the police investigation of the dead woman ensues; we continue to follow this thread through the course of the film.

The music chosen for the film is unmemorable, but that may serve us well in that it is never a distraction. Time passes during the course of the story, but it could be a week, perhaps six months.

An interesting film, the title has been bandied about for its Biblical reference but reveals little about the matters at hand. In the final analysis the only surprise found in the movie is when a prominent figure merely disappears; consistent with the tempo, it is a profoundly quiet moment. Disturbing at every turn, this is a film charged with raw sexuality and should be seen to appreciate naturalistic film.


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