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Laurel Canyon (2002)

R | | Drama | 28 March 2003 (USA)
2:06 | Trailer
When an uptight young man and his fiancée move into his libertine mother's house, the resulting clash of life attitudes shakes everyone up.


Lisa Cholodenko


Lisa Cholodenko
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Frances McDormand ... Jane
Christian Bale ... Sam
Kate Beckinsale ... Alex
Natascha McElhone ... Sara
Alessandro Nivola ... Ian McKnight
Lou Barlow ... Fripp (as Louis Knox Barlow)
Russell Pollard Russell Pollard ... Rowan
Imaad Wasif Imaad Wasif ... Dean
Mickey Petralia Mickey Petralia ... Mickey
Melissa De Sousa ... Claudia
Alexandra Carter Alexandra Carter ... Darla
Michelle DeMirjian Michelle DeMirjian ... China (as Michelle Demirjian)
Rick Gonzalez ... Wyatt
Dennis Howard Dennis Howard ... Mr. Elliot
Catherine McGoohan ... Mrs. Elliot


Newly graduated psychiatrist Sam and his fiancee Alex move to Los Angeles for Sam's residency and into Sam's mother's house in upscale Laurel Canyon. Only problem is, Sam's mother is still there, supposedly finishing up a record that she's producing for the band of her new boy toy, Ian. She seems more interested in smoking pot and drinking than actually working though. Alex doesn't mind but Sam is quite upset. Alex starts off focused on her work (finishing a dissertation on genomics), but is soon distracted by the rock-'n-roll lifestyle going on around her. Meanwhile, Sam is equally distracted by beautiful Israeli intern Sara. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


On the road to the perfect life, Sam & Alex took a little detour.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The second of two movies pairing Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale. The first being Royal Deceit (1994). See more »


The album-wrap party takes place in a suite on an upper floor of the Chateau Marmont (we see Ian order more champagne for the "penthouse suite", and the view from the balcony is clearly an upper floor). Yet when Sam storms out of the suite, then runs downstairs while arguing with Jane, they only descend one flight before reaching the lobby. There is a cut, but the dialog implies that no time was cut from their descent. See more »


Cambridge Party Guest #1: [speaking to Sam] Take care of Alex. We don't want her joining the Scientologists
[Sam smiles]
Cambridge Party Guest #1: , or the vegetarians
[all laugh]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Editorial Mensch ... Caryn Marcus See more »


References The Lost Battalion (2001) See more »


What's My Name
Written by Jocaine (as Joe Binki)
Performed by Jocaine
Courtesy of Imperial Records
See more »

User Reviews

Great Performance

I've just seen Laurel Canyon and I think it is a good movie. The main reason is because of the performances, especially from Christian Bale. He did an amazing job playing a character going through some sort of inner turmoil, of trying to confine his emotions. There are a lot of powerful scenes, I can't tell you them but look out for it. As a married man I understand the temptation he has to deal with.

Kate Beckinsale(sp?) also did a convincing job of a playing the awkwardness of a foreigner in an unknown and exciting place.

Francis Macdormand(sp?) What can I say, she is always amazing, and natural.

Alessandro Nivola is a young actor who you should keep an eye out for! His screen presence has everything that is needed to live an immortal live on the silver screen.

May alone dissatisfaction is with the films aesthetic direction. It just wasn't coherent. Just compare the first shot with the metaphysical and poetic last shot! Who is to blame, the director or the cinematographer

Overall, if your looking to see a film with great performances, an acting film, this is worth watching.

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Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Laurel Canyon See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$149,099, 9 March 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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