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Bright Young Things (2003)

 -  Comedy | Drama | War  -  3 October 2003 (UK)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 3,970 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 64 user | 65 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

An adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel "Vile Bodies," is a look into the lives of a young novelist, his would-be lover, and a host of young people who beautified London in the 1930s.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Miles
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...
...
Mrs. Melrose Ape
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Customs Officer
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...
Agatha
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Lord Monomark
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Bruno Lastra ...
Basilio
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Ginger Littlejohn
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The Drunken Major
John Franklyn-Robbins ...
Judge
...
King of Anatolia
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Storyline

A fool and his money. In the 1930s, Adam Fenwick-Symes is part of the English idle class, wanting to marry the flighty Nina Blount. He's a novelist with a hundred-pound advance for a manuscript confiscated by English customs. He spends the next several years trying to get money and to set a wedding date: he trades in gossip, wins money on wagers then gives it to a drunken major who's suggested he bet on a horse in an upcoming race. Adam tries to get the money back, but can't find the major. Meanwhile, Nina needs security, friends drink too much, and general unhappiness spoils the party. Then war breaks out. Is Adam's bright youth dimming with the fall of an empire? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

money | novelist | major | 1930s | horse | See more »

Taglines:

Sex... Scandal... Celebrity... Some things never change.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Agria niata  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$46,926 (USA) (20 August 2004)

Gross:

$931,755 (USA) (12 November 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

Interior scenes set in Espinosa's restaurant were filmed in Eltham Palace, London. See more »

Goofs

A television aerial can be seen on the right hand rooftops in the external shot of the hotel that Adam and Nina stay at. See more »

Quotes

Ginger Littlejohn: What I'm about to say is that what I'm about to say may sound unpleasant, y'know, and all that, but look here, y'know, dammit. I mean, the better man has won. Not, um, that I'm saying that I'm the better man, I wouldn't say that for a moment, awful bad luck on you and all but still, when you come to think of it I mean look here, y'know. Dammit. Do you see what I mean?
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Connections

Featured in 2005 Glitter Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Thunder & Lightning Polka
Performed by Anne Dudley
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User Reviews

A pretty good first stab
3 October 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Stephen Fry is such a prodigious polymath that it's no surprise what a good fist he's made of his directorial debut. That's not to say it's wholly successful; the characters are so shallow that it is hard to warm to them, although it should be pointed out that this is not necessarily a fault. Indeed, it's refreshing these days to find a film in which characters are not trying to ingratiate themselves. Emily Mortimer is exempt from this observation in any case, as she's just so adorable - and is it just me or does she look a dead spit for the young Mary Steenburgen?

I found not only the camerawork but the lighting extremely gaudy, sometimes offputtingly so. However, Fry is admirably adventurous in some of his camera sweeps, not playing it safe as some inexperienced directors do.

As to the performances, it is true that Simon Callow hams it up quite outrageously (although he still wrung a couple of chuckles out of me), and I found Michael Sheen's uber-camp queen rather wearing, until his scene at the end which I thought he handled well. I know I'm not the first person to say this, but it bears repetition: Fenella Woolgar is a revelation in this film, conveying the insouciance of the upper class effortlessly (and the scene after the "orgy" with the stern family is priceless). James McEvoy was excellent too.

Oh, and by the way, to whomever described Evelyn Waugh as "herself one of the beauties of the age" - you may have been joking, but in case not, Evelyn Waugh was in fact a curmudgeonly man who would no doubt have snorted to hear himself thus described!


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