6.5/10
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115 user 109 critic

Young Adam (2003)

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2:07 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

David Mackenzie
7 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ewan McGregor ... Joe Taylor
Tilda Swinton ... Ella Gault
Peter Mullan ... Les Gault
Emily Mortimer ... Cathie Dimly
Jack McElhone ... Jim Gault
Therese Bradley Therese Bradley ... Gwen
Ewan Stewart ... Daniel Gordon
Stuart McQuarrie Stuart McQuarrie ... Bill
Pauline Turner Pauline Turner ... Connie
Alan Cooke Alan Cooke ... Bob M'bussi
Rory McCann ... Sam
Ian Hanmore ... Freight Supervisor
Andrew Neil Andrew Neil ... Barman
Arnold Brown Arnold Brown ... Bowler Hat Man
Meg Fraser 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El joven Adán See more »

Filming Locations:

Scotland, UK See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After finding the body, Joe is sitting on a bucket at the dockside, a famous pose of that Dundonian cartoon rascal Oor Wullie, whose own father used to work on the docks. See more »

Goofs

The chords heard as Les plays the guitar change, but his fingers don't move. See more »

Quotes

Ella Gault: Say hello to Joe.
Joe Taylor: Alright?
Jim Gault: Bastard.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK version contains a sex scene featuring Ewan McGregor. The MPAA has cut it from the US release for 2004. See more »

Connections

References L'Atalante (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

HAITIAN FIGHT SONG
Written by Charles Mingus
Performed by The Hung Drawn Quartet (also credited as The Hang Drawn Quartet)
Produced by David Byrne
Published by Jazz Workshop, Inc. (BMI)
Arranged by Raymond MacDonald
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A jewel at the coal face
13 August 2003 | by Chris_DockerSee all my reviews

Dark, bleak and brooding, Young Adam is a film charged with unexploded tension throughout. Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton are superb in the lead roles, conveying much in unspoken guilt as barge hand McGregor engages in an ill-advised affair with his boss's wife. The body of a dead woman appearing in the Clyde leads to a trail of unravelling that leaves a queasy feeling in the stomach right to the very end of the film (and only then do we realise the significance of the title).

Set in 1950s Glasgow this sombre recreation is a testament to Scottish art house film making (even if they did have to go abroad for much of the funding). The raw sexuality in the grittiest of surroundings is transformed by aesthetic cinematography into explosive beauty as we explore the innermost drives of the characters and work through their dilemmas with them.


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