6.5/10
2,977
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

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

Your Destiny
Composed by Del Bartle
Performed by The Subverts
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Second half saves some unnecessary characters
24 December 2005 | by J-BizzleSee all my reviews

Metroland is true to the midlife crisis, except between two people who haven't quite reached that stage of their lives yet. Christian Bale plays an Englishman who begins to reminisce about his past in the mid and late '60s when an old friend (played by Lee Ross) comes back to stir up his life. While I felt that the story was strong and seemingly dramatic enough to keep me interested and entertained, the character played by Lee Ross just seemed unnecessary. This character is supposed to build the plot the first half of the movie and I felt this could've been reached in many other directions.

And if you love France, well, you'll love the beautiful depiction of French women with an excellent performance given by Elsa Zylberstein, Bale's character's 'old flame' that he thinks about constantly throughout the film.

Beautiful 'still' cinematography throughout is perfect for Bale's character's love for photography and makes the film very watchable just for art's sake.

By the time I reached the last 45 minutes or so, I was much more intrigued and worried for the well-being of Bale's marriage with his present day (1977) wife, played wonderfully by Emily Watson. The tension between the two of them throughout the film is far more than believable and I loved it.

While I wanted to give this movie a much higher rating, I think it is fair to say that the first half moves much too slow. I was also slightly disappointed by the ending of the film, but it was still a great surprise and hit me unexpectedly. I highly recommend for Bale/Watson fans.


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