Young Adam

September 4th, 2003







Advertisments





more trailers Young Adam

Still of Ewan McGregor and Peter Mullan in Young AdamStill of Ewan McGregor and Emily Mortimer in Young AdamStill of Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton in Young AdamStill of Peter Mullan in Young AdamDavid Mackenzie in Young AdamStill of Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton in Young Adam

Plot
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.

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 6.4/10 (7,841 voted)

Critic's Score: 67/100

Director: David Mackenzie

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan

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.

Writers: Alexander Trocchi, David Mackenzie

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



Details

Official Website: Sony Picture Classics [United States] |

Release Date: 4 September 2003

Filming Locations: Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: £4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: €16,013 (Netherlands) (7 September 2003) (12 Screens)

Gross: $767,240 (USA) (15 August 2004)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
This was the first film which Mcgregor did not take his family along for the shoot.

Goofs:
Audio/visual unsynchronized: The chords heard as Les plays the guitar change, but his fingers don't move.

Quotes:
Joe Taylor: I think she went to a bridge fully dressed and stood there breathing the warm night air. And she took off her jacket and folded it neatly on the ground. And then she unbuttoned her blouse and undid her brassiere and let it drop down on top of the other clothes...
[...]



User Review

Subtle, near great, not for everyone.

Rating:

A thoughtful, unapologetic and non judgmental character study of Joe, one man, one distinctly unique yet common man. It is presented in the context of a mystery, but this is no mystery thriller. Thrill seekers, go elsewhere.

If you crave action, dialog, explanations and clear resolutions to a plot, I suggest you avoid this film. If you are fascinated by human complexity, admire beautifully crafted film-making, and can think and observe for yourself, this may be a rewarding experience for you. If you love and understand great acting you must see this film.

It is exquisitely filmed, in an understated and confident manner, using hue and tint as artfully as any great painter. Joe lives in a drab and uninspiring world, mostly of interiors; tight, constricted places, where the inhabitants are caged too closely, too much ever present in each other's spaces. When we are occasionally brought out into the world at large, this tight confining world is often seen to be surrounded by a distant, unreachable beauty. There are subtly beautiful panoramas of the lush greenness of Scotland off in the distance, out of reach of Joe, of all the people of his world.

The structure, the editing, the weaving of time present and time past is without conceit. There is no "look at how cleverly I did that transition" cutting. It is a perfect representation of editing unseen, unnoticed, the mark of brilliant editing. Everything comes together, simply and without explanation. Characters are presented simply, without prelude. Events occur, without justification. You must think and observe for yourself. If there are conclusions to be made, they must be yours.

If for no other reason, see this film to experience Ewan McGregor: He has been a reasonably attractive and adequate performer, in mostly rather forgettable productions, until now. Here he suddenly emerges as an actor of astounding depth and complexity, inhabiting, living, revealing another soul. Without any reservation this is a great performance. His subtlety, his inner directed creation of a complete individual, is simply remarkable. It is a complete, compelling, always true performance. You cannot look away from Joe. You must follow him, know him. Do you know him? Can you ever really know him?

The plot, what little of it there is, unfolds through character and behavior, with a minimum of dialog. There is much complete silence in this film. The score is understated, never telegraphing what you are supposed to feel or think. Indeed, I doubt that there is an answer to any question here. Who is Joe? What is Joe? That is not the point.

Here is Joe. This is what he is, this is what he has done. What will he do now? There is a quiet suspense, never quite gratified, which begins with the very first frame,a corpse, gently floating, photographed darkly, from below, so dark there is no face. A deceased, faceless female human being.

Joe's is the first face we see. That first glimpse of his eyes, told me that nothing would be what it seemed in this film. Joe sees something we do not see. So begins the mystery.

Nothing is jarring, nothing is false. Life is simply never quite what we think it is. Make no mistake. There is a real mystery here to be revealed. Not a contrived, plot dependent series of revelations. It is the unpeeling of the layers of a human being.

Much has been mentioned in this forum about the frequent sex scenes. They are achingly non-erotic, distanced and cold, and ultimately only functional. It is a passionless, desperate, mutually using and abusing kind of sex. Only one scene has heat. And that scene is not really sex. It is frustration, anger, vengeance, humiliation and desperation. This scene is truly horrible, truly frightening and truly revelatory.

I haven't told you much about the plot. That is deliberate. The plot works. It reveals the character. The progression of events is true, often surprising, but never false, never contrived. If you need to be told what is happening and why, this is not for you.

If you love great acting, by all involved, and appreciate the crafts and arts of film construction, I highly recommend "Young Adam".

(I have one question for anyone out there who might have a feasible answer: the title confounds me. There is no Adam. Nor is there any reference to an Adam. I could draw no path to or from Genesis. So why is this called "Young Adam"?)









[shareaholic app="recommendations" id="21160979"]

Comments:


Advertisments