6.5/10
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116 user 108 critic

Young Adam (2003)

NC-17 | | Crime, Drama | 26 September 2003 (UK)
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A young drifter working on a river barge disrupts his employers' lives while hiding the fact that he knows more about a dead woman found in the river than he admits.

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7 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Alastair Mackenzie, Jonny Phillips, Ewan Stewart
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Joe Taylor
... Ella Gault
... Les Gault
... Cathie Dimly
... Jim Gault
Therese Bradley ... Gwen
... Daniel Gordon
Stuart McQuarrie ... Bill
Pauline Turner ... Connie
Alan Cooke ... Bob M'bussi
... Sam
... Freight Supervisor
Andrew Neil ... Barman
Arnold Brown ... Bowler Hat Man
Meg Fraser ... Stall Woman
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Storyline

Joe, a rootless young drifter, finds work on a barge travelling between Glasgow and Edinburgh, owned by Les and his wife Ella. One afternoon they discover the corpse of a young woman floating in the water. Accident? Suicide? Murder? As the police investigate and suspect is arrested, we discover that Joe knows more than he is letting on. Gradually we learn of Joe's past relationship with the dead woman. Meanwhile an unspoken attraction develops between Joe and Ella, heightening the claustrophobic tensions in the confined space of the barge. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

26 September 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El joven Adán  »

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Box Office

Budget:

£4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£228,692 (United Kingdom), 28 September 2003, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,278, 18 April 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$767,240, 15 August 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film which Mcgregor did not take his family along for the shoot. See more »

Goofs

In a wide shot of the skyline of Glasgow from Kelvingrove Park, the Glasgow Tower can be seen on the horizon. The tower wasn't built until 2000. See more »

Quotes

Les Gault: What'd you do that for?
Joe Taylor: I had no use for it.
Les Gault: Must be worth something, though.
Joe Taylor: Not to me.
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Connections

Referenced in Long Way Round (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Warm Sheets
Percussion performed by Richard Colburn
Music Composed by David Byrne
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User Reviews

 
Well-crafted film with strong performances and a pervading, restrained sadness that echoes its Beat heritage.
22 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Young Adam is a powerful and atmospheric drama set on the canals between Glasgow and Edinburgh during the 1950s.

Ewan McGregor is Joe, a drifter working on a barge, when he and his boss find a body in the canal. As he begins an affair with the bargeman's wife (Tilda Swinton), we find out more about his previous relationship with the drowned woman (Emily Mortimer).

Adapted from the novel by Scottish Beat writer Alexander Trocchi, Young Adam is, in some ways, a kitchen sink drama – a vivid picture of working class life in its unpleasant reality. One of the best examples of this type of film is Room at the Top (1959). But Young Adam has existentialist overtones: Joe is alienated and passive, and not only do his numerous sexual couplings offer him little pleasure, but in rejecting the only thing that could redeem him, he condemns himself to a meaningless life. This might sound too depressing, but screenwriter and director David Mackenzie gives the film great depth and sensuality. Very interesting. ****/***** stars.


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