Young Adam (2003)

NC-17   |    |  Crime, Drama


Young Adam (2003) Poster

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.


6.4/10
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  • Tilda Swinton in Young Adam (2003)
  • Ewan McGregor and Emily Mortimer in Young Adam (2003)
  • David Mackenzie in Young Adam (2003)
  • Ewan McGregor in Young Adam (2003)
  • Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton in Young Adam (2003)
  • Ewan McGregor and Emily Mortimer in Young Adam (2003)

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22 December 2004 | colettesplace
8
| Well-crafted film with strong performances and a pervading, restrained sadness that echoes its Beat heritage.
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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