Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

METROLAND

 

Year: 1998
Country: England/France/Spain
Run Time: 101 minutes

"It doesn't matter where you go. Metroland isn't a place. It's a state of mind." Sage advice in 1963 from an old commuter to Chirs Lloyd (Christian Bale), an English youth raised in the cozy suburbs north of London, where the Metropolitan subway/railway line terminates. Chris and best mate Toni know that life holds more than a bourgeois job, a house, and a bowler hat, and the explosive 1960s, in both Britain and Paris, seems primed for their adventuring. So why does 1977 find thirtysomething Chris working in advertising, married (to Emily Watson) and settled down . . . in Metroland? Toni, now an author and still a rebel, visits after jaunts through the fleshpots of Africa and the punk clubs of London, and is dismayed that his friend surrendered to middle-class comforts. Toni's presence and manipulations stir the adman's memories of a bygone, free-spirited love affair with a Parisienne, threatening to tear apart his placid existence. Thanks largely to "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" we have come to consider sixties Britain as a pyschadelic backdrop to campy spy-jinks, but it was in fact a dueling-ground for two very different values systems. Philip Saville's touching, funny, winningly acted drama pits Bohemia against domesticity, on a track somewhere between the ages of Pythonism and Thatcherism. All aboard!

Screenplay
Adrian Hodges (based on the novel by Julian Barnes)

Director
Philip Saville

Producer
Andrew Bendel

Cinematography
Jean-Francois Robin

Editing
Greg Miller

Principal Cast
Christian Bale, Lee Ross, Emily Watson, Elsa Zylberstein, Amanda Ryan, John Wood

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