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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:

Philip Saville

Writers:

Julian Barnes (novel), Adrian Hodges (screenplay)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Bale ... Chris
Emily Watson ... Marion
Lee Ross ... Toni
Elsa Zylberstein ... Annick
John Wood ... The Retired Commuter
Rufus ... Henri
Amanda Ryan ... Joanna
Jonathan Aris ... Dave
Ifan Meredith ... Mickey
Boris Terral Boris Terral ... Jacques
Lucy Speed ... Punk Girl
Bill Thomas Bill Thomas ... Middle-Aged Commuter
Bethan Fairbairn Bethan Fairbairn ... Amy
Daisy Fairbairn Daisy Fairbairn ... Amy
Del Bartle 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain | France | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1998 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Keskellä elämää See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,682, 11 April 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$299,463, 6 June 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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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

Marion: Anyway, I want it to be you that I make love to.
Chris: It's me! It's me, darling!
Marion: No, it's not. It's eight pints of lager with an erection.
See more »


Soundtracks

America We Hate You
Composed by Del Bartle and Danny De Matos
Performed by The Subverts
See more »

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User Reviews

Take the train
2 May 1999 | by EdRooneySee all my reviews

"Metroland" Christian Bale stars as Chris, a 30 year old man who must reexamine his priorities and life choices once an old friend(Lee Ross) comes back into his life. The friend criticizes Chris on the lack of excitement in his life and urges him to leave his wife Marion (Emily Watson) and travel the world. As enticing the dramatic possibilities seem with this plot, "Metroland" takes all the expectations one might have and tries something new. It's a character piece, headlined with a smashing performance by Bale. It's also funny, bright, and deeply introspective. The plot takes us on a tour of Chris's past. A past that included a stay in Paris with a beautiful native. The woman teaches Chris the ways of love and bohemian lifestyle, a lifestyle Chris has always wanted. The section takes up about half of the film, and is the film's strongest suit. We see the very English Chris try to pass himself off as a Parisian and curse at other Brits, he also loses his virginity is a grandly comical scene. The other half of the film deals with Chris trying to justify his lack of shame in his calm, predictable life. Veteran director Philip Saville does a good job making sure the audience never loses faith in Chris. It could have been real easy to drag the film through a series of lame dramatics, but Saville gives realistic answers to realistic questions.

There are a lot of pluses in "Metroland". It's well written, sharply shot with a good eye for detail, and everybody out there knows how I feel about the brilliant Emily Watson. What I liked best, and this might seem weird, but with all the grotesque nudity in such films as "Go" and "He Got Game", "Metroland" is refreshingly blunt. There is a lot of bodies on display here, but in a very natural and - dare I say - beautiful way. It's not thrown in your face. It just is. This is a good movie that relies on a soft, steady narrative than a hyped, antsy one.------------- 8


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