45 user 32 critic

Metroland (1997)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 21 August 1998 (UK)
The sudden reappearance of his best friend Toni, after a ten year absence, causes Chris to remember his past, to question some of his lifestyle decisions and to re-evaluate his life and marriage to Marion.


Philip Saville


Julian Barnes (novel), Adrian Hodges (screenplay)




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


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


Metroland is not a location - it is a state of mind.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The film takes place in 1977. See more »


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 »


The Retired Commuter: It doesn't matter where you go. Metroland isn't a place. It's a state of mind.
See more »


Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles
Composed by Françoise Hardy and Roger Samyn
Performed by Françoise Hardy
©1962 by Editions Musicales Alpha, Paris
With the kind authorization of Jacques Wolfsohn
Courtesy of Disques Vogue/BMG Entertainment International, UK and Ireland Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

A man questions his life's direction when an old friend comes for a visit.
10 April 1999 | by scrutinySee all my reviews

If Francois Truffaut were still alive today I think Metroland would easily fit into his oeuvre. A film about a person taking stock of himself at the crossroads, Metroland introduces us to a suburban utopia where people go to work everyday, take their kids to school, and wash their cars on the weekend. Christian Bale seems to accept this life until an old friend rings him up wanting to revisit the old times. Throughout the film we see what Bale's character could've been and how much happier he thought he was. Metroland's assertion is to accept life for what it is and not what it is not. Not everyone's cup of tea as evidenced by Bale's boyhood chum but being the film's setting takes place during the late seventies in England right before the rise of Thatcherism may be a subtle stab at what the middle class of the film will come to accept. Conformity over confrontation may ultimately be Metroland's theme no matter how much it hurts us to admit it.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 45 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



Spain | France | UK



Release Date:

21 August 1998 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Metroland See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,682, 11 April 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed