6.5/10
2,984
44 user 30 critic

Metroland (1997)

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

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


Soundtracks

Alison
(1977)
Composed and performed by Elvis Costello
Published by Sideways Songs
Administered by Plangent Visions Music Ltd.
©1977 by Elvis Costello Ltd.
Licensed from Demon Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
No, it's not. It's eight pints of lager with an erection.
27 June 2007 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

This film adapted from a novel by one of England's best writers, Julian Barnes, was a story to anyone who has been married for a while. Set mainly during 1977, the drama focuses on Chris (Christian Bale) and Tony (Lee Ross), who grew up together in suburban England a decade earlier.

Chris is now happily married to Marion (Emily Watson) and has a baby daughter. Tony has never settled down. A surprise visit from his childhood friend causes Chris to reassess his present life and to remember his days working in Paris; there he lived with Annick (Elsa Zylberstein), a young, liberated French woman, before he fell in love with Marion.

Bale and Watson were superb in this film. He fantasizes about how his life would have been had he not gotten married. Tony is trying to convince him to give it all up, and Marion is trying to save her marriage.

There is a lot of nudity and sex, but none is gratuitous. It all adds to the story and , at times, is funny, especially when he was new at sex in Paris.

The most interesting part of the film consists of two related scenes. he tells Tony that he is "content." Maybe that is the best you can hope for from an Englishman. His wife asks later if he is "happy." he says, "If not now, never." That is certainly, to me at least, not a ringing endorsement. Maybe again, it is particularly English.

The film was very enjoyable, and the only criticism I would have is the graininess in the middle. I am beginning to like Bale more and more.


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