• R, 1 hr. 46 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    George Hickenlooper
    In Theaters:
    Sep 27, 2001 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 18, 2003
  • Fireworks Pictures


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The Man from Elysian Fields Reviews

Page 1 of 5
Luke B

Super Reviewer

June 22, 2008
A mature and worldly screenplay is executed by actors giving elegantly crafted performances. Garcia, Jagger and Coburn all work together (despite Coburn and Jagger never sharing a scene). It's the way actions affect others and how ones own selfish desires can make or break a person. The men not only assert their power to gain wealth and acceptance but are also exploited by their female counterparts. All characters evolve and learn life lessons without the screenplay coming across as a self help novel. Emotional and funny only hampered by a surprisingly uninspired montage and an ending that feels to happily rushed.
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

June 13, 2008
Plays out better than it sounds, due to the cast.
October 20, 2012
Good story, poor execution. The movie starts off as a comedy-drama and holds up quite well in the first half or so. Unfortunately, it changes direction and starts falling apart in the second half. Some acting was quite good, but the characters needed more development, especially the wife who was merely a sketch despite being a key character. There were also some glaring holes in the plot that I found distracting. It's a shame this movie falls flat, I could only attribute it to poor script and sloppy directing.
May 13, 2012
A very good movie, well scripted and acted. Has a surprisingly good, if not original, performance by Mick Jagger which surprised us.

Super Reviewer

July 24, 2010
(2001 Director: George HIckenlooper) I am not sure if it was the combination of the actors and actresses portraying the characters in this movie that made such an impression on me or if it was the storyline. Somehow there was a freshness about the subject matter--though far from original--but perhaps somehow handled more sensitively. James Coburn was phenomenally masterful as an extremely well-known author & Julianne Marguilies (ER, The Good WIfe) played her supporting role as TIller's wife believably with a touch perhaps of innocence, or even niavete. Growth hurts!

There is a saying that might perhaps be one of the themes of this interesting passionate character study: "Never love a woman who loves you unconditionally." I think is how it goes?!

However, I won't spoil the surprise.

My fellow movie viewers' reviews are "on spot" except for the commentary I read about Andy Garcia. Andy Garcia has the face of a beloved puppy dog and your dearest friend or long lost love to my mind and watching him perform in this believable role where he "performs" to survive, we all were given a glimpse at what integrity means.

Okay, yeah I'm older than I look (especially in this photo!) Let me share a personal experience? Both my brother and sister (Geminis) could never stand to remain in the room (or theater) when watching a violent, or otherwise horrifically uncormfortable movie.

Tiller loved his wife and had just as much passion for his writing. He became numb. Garcia is a man full of raw power, charisma, even vigor but with the face of a hound dog (except even more lovely)...those eyes. He can speak volumes without one word.
December 27, 2007
I was pleasantly surprised by this one, especially by Mick Jagger as Luther Fox, the head of the Elysian Fields escort service. It actually starts out a bit like a '50's noir; for some reason I thought that's when it was set at the beginning until we see Andy Garcia clacking away at a PC. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention. It's an interesting story, and everyone turns in great performances. Andy Garcia has never been an actor that stands out to me, I wouldn't go out of my way to see a movie that he's in, but he does strong work here. Emotionally complex drama, with a few good twists. Good stuff.
May 29, 2007
Premise is so alluring, but Andy Garcia's performance was wooden, the plot twist was too devastating for me, and I just felt so depressed after. Ugh.
May 29, 2007
A very good movie, well scripted and acted. Has a surprisingly good, if not original, performance by Mick Jagger which surprised us.
August 8, 2014
I found this film intriguing, even though the critics thought it wasn't "compelling or plausible" it certainly kept my interest, and I liked the ending.
October 13, 2013
Literate film with great performances drags during the second half.
February 14, 2013
This drama has a solid plot, but suffers from pacing just a bit too slow. Mick Jagger is charismatic and believable as Luther Fox, but Andy Garcia has more difficulty as the lead, especially when compared to Jagger.
August 16, 2012
A real little gem. Draws you in and generates lots of engaging post viewing dialogue if you're fortunate enough to watch it with people who enjoy character driven films.
July 12, 2012
Totally plausible and more than compelling enough. This is a movie for grown-ups with interesting characters that takes sex seriously and doesn't play it for cheap laughs like in every other movie. This was one of the best movies released in 2002.
May 19, 2012
Watching Jagger struggle to look and sound natural on film is always painful, at least here he is in good company. The plot is so slow and dull and every scene is dingy in the hopes of delivering a noir feel totally beyond the capabilities of the production. It wants to speak to the human condition and the twists of life but in such routine ways as to be utterly bland.
April 13, 2011
A Shadow Puppet Play, Not a Story

Curiously, the thing which bothers me most about this flat little work is that they make such a fuss about Pasadena and then get vast amounts of the geography all wrong. For one, no one in Pasadena who really loves to read would ever bother with a Barnes & Noble. They probably have book signings there, but the place in Pasadena for that is Vroman's, on Colorado Boulevard. I saw Sue Grafton, Madeleine L'Engle, and Anne Rice there. My mother saw Walter Cronkite, Ken Burns, Jimmy Carter, and many others. (Including Sue Grafton and Anne Rice!) Honestly, I don't even know where a Barnes & Noble is in Pasadena. There was a bookstore of some sort in the mall, but I understand the mall isn't there anymore. Maybe there's one nearer Old Town, which does get a brief appearance. However, most of the really distinctive buildings shown are in Los Angeles, so what's the point of making Pasadena a Thing?

That fine actor, Andy Garcia, plays Byron Tiller, one of those guys who had one book sell and felt he could quit his job and make a living at writing. Except his one book ends up in the remainder bin, of course. His wife is working at a record store while he writes his next book, which the publisher won't even accept because who reads that crap? One day, he meets Luther Fox (Mick Jagger). Luther runs Elysian Fields, a high-end male escort service for bored and wealthy wives. Byron tells his wife, Dena (Juliana Margulies), that he is meeting with the Book of the Month Club to consider making his book, which he has not told her hasn't sold, a selection. Instead, he is meeting with Andrea Alcott (Olivia Williams), wife of Tobias (James Coburn), who has won three Pulitzers and whom Byron studied in college. Tobias Alcott is sanguine about his wife's affair and in fact asks Byron to read his new book, hoping for an honest opinion. And honestly, it's terrible. But Byron has this idea . . . .

The thing is, all these people feel like paper dolls. Andrea is described at least twice as having the face of an angel, and that appears to be what she's for. She's there to be pretty and provide a link between Byron and Tobias. She's also there because it's important that Byron be treated as a whore, which in fact he is. Dena is there to be the Good Woman Betrayed. The first night Byron spends with the Alcotts, I'm not even sure what story they told Dena. He was just sitting at their breakfast table the next morning. By the time Dena has had enough, he's spending pretty much all his time with them and none at home. There is also Nigel (Michael Des Barres), there to be a mirror in which Byron does not want to see himself. And, you know, man-whore Mick Jagger sleeping with inexplicable Anjelica Huston. I think she's supposed to be there to add depth to his character, or maybe to make the life Byron loses seem so much better. It doesn't work for me.

I do think it was filmed well, honestly, which just made it all the more disappointing. I can't ever live there again, but Pasadena does have some charming places in part left over from the colonial days. Of course, a lot of the things shown here were actually Los Angeles proper, but they still do film it to good effect. Los Angeles is the dream, but Los Angeles is also the land of loneliness. It's really big. Spread out. Even just Pasadena keeps on going. Los Angeles is full of places we go through. My mom's house is miles from my old high school, and while I know approximately what's between them, a lot of the neighbourhoods are places to go through on the bus. And, yes, Los Angeles is a town of secrets, but it's because there are so many places to hide them. Byron (and ye Gods, there's a bit of a pretentious name) uses a phone in front of the old Tower Records building, many miles from home. Ambassador Auditorium isn't very far from Old Town--just a couple of blocks. But there's still a sense of distance which the filming helps explore.

Once again, we have hit one of those movies with a wasted cast. Fortunately, it wasn't James Coburn's final movie, though I haven't seen the movie which actually was. But for all my teasing (which is based on a one-off reference on KROQ in the early '90s), Andy Garcia actually is a fine actor. Juliana Margulies hasn't done a huge amount worth watching, but she's not a bad actress. Mick Jagger . . . well, is Mick Jagger. Olivia Williams is beautiful and charming. And honestly, I think you could do a really great movie out of the feeling of isolation these people have. There's also an interesting movie in the idea that writers are, in the end, selling themselves no less than the "escorts" Byron ends up becoming. However, Pasadena is just a stage, and the people in it are merely shadows. The writing parts of it don't ring true. Somehow, the two men working together produce the Greatest Work of All Time--even though it sounds a great deal like the one Byron's publisher rejects at the beginning.
son of bloody sam
March 12, 2011
it's sophisticated, well-written, superbly acted, but kinda wrong. the storyline is almost believable, a writer with a first hit novel writes the bad second one. he is married, out of money and desperate, but not willing to do the menial stuff. so he hooks up with an old gigolo who runs an escort agency. their job is not simply fucking the rich women, but they also have to be some comfort for their clients, the lonely women.
his client is a wife of an old, dying and awarded writer. soon he becomes cooperation with both of them in different ways. but he stays just a hooker, a hired hand for both of them.
all the characters are carefully written. byron, the writer, can't make up his mind, he is just delaying pain of being treated as an object, being poor or both. his wife is not clueless as wives of infidel husbands usually are, she is confident enough to leave him, and she knows she has every right. his employer has wisdom of a man who wanted everything the easy way, and who realized there is no easy way. the old writer is being sentimental, sad, vane and wise like an old fart should be. and his wife is understanding, but selfish. the dialogues are smart and educated, so it makes it a grown-up movie.
the problem is in the second half, when the pace slows down showing there is no real solution, so the (happy) ending is being cooked to long, with a huge downfall in between. and it all looks like some wise ass preaching.
but if you want an intelligent movie about human choices and some kind of predestination, you can look at this one.
there is no suspense and action like in american gigolo, just people and their life choices and lessons. and moral standings are about the same.
Monsieur Rick
March 17, 2007
A true morality play if there ever was one.

What happens to good people when they are forced to feed their family? Watch this and find out... we all might go there.

Rolling Stones lead singer, Mick Jagger, is the Man from Fields. I won't go into the title of the movie.... you will understand when you watch the first half hour.

Well acted in every respect, Jagger is very good as is the main character.

In the first scene, you see the lead character, a down and out writer, in a bookstore seeing that his novel is in the bargain bin. A customer picks it up and notices his picture on the back cover..... the writer signs it for her.... then he leaves the store.... watch what she does with the book!

Watch this one if you like deep thoughts, although what the writer does is rather unbelievable (he has to perform, for his money, some unlikely things).

Two fingers way up on this one. Agree?
April 25, 2006
[font=Times New Roman][color=black][size=3]STANDARDIZED MOVIE EVALUATION [/size]
[size=3](Inherently without Spoilers)[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]I. CONTENT (out of 3 stars plus bonus, composite of sub-criteria bellow): ---> 2.75 <---[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]i. PHILOSOPHICAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL DEPTH (out of 2 stars, where very shallow = 0; shallow = 0.25 or 0.5; somewhat deep = 0.75 or 1.0; deep = 1.25 or 1.5; very deep = 1.75 or 2.0)[/size]
[size=3]---> 1.75 <---[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]ii. SCREENPLAY ORIGINALITY (out of 1 star, where very banal = 0; banal = 0.25; somewhat original = 0.5; original = 0.75; very original = 1.0):[/size]
[size=3]---> 0.75 <---[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]+ BONUS FOR CONTAINING CONTROVERSIAL & UNPOPULAR TOPICS (up to 0.5 star, where controversial topics = 0.25; unpopular and taboo topics = 0.5) [/size]
[size=3]---> 0.25 <---[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]II. PRODUCTION (out of 2 stars plus bonus, composite of sub-criteria bellow): ---> 1.75 <---[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]iii. ACTING (out of 1 star, where very ineffective = 0; ineffective = 0.25; somewhat effective = 0.5; effective = 0.75; very effective = 1.0):[/size]
[size=3]---> 1.0 <---[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]iv. PRESENTATION (out of 1 star, where very ineffective = 0; ineffective = 0.25; somewhat effective = 0.5; effective = 0.75; very effective = 1.0): [/size]
[size=3]---> 0.75 <---[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]+ BONUS FOR PRODUCING ON LOW BUDGET (up to 0.5 stars, where up to one million dollars budget = 0.25; up to half a million dollars budget = 0.5) [/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]TOTAL STAR RATING: ---> 4.5<---[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]GRADE & RECOMMENDATION (above 5.0 = A+," Very Good Movie, Highly Recommend"; 5.0 & 4.75 = A," Very Good Movie, Highly Recommend"; 4.5 = A-, " Very Good Movie, Highly Recommend"; 4.25 = B+, "Good Movie, Recommend"; 4.0 & 3.75 = B, "Good Movie, Recommend"; 3.5 = B - "Good Movie, Recommend"; 3.25 = = C+, "Fair Movie" ; 3.0 & 2.75 = C, "Fair Movie"; 2.5 = C-, "Fair Movie"; 2.25 = D+, "Poor Movie"; 2.0 & 1.75 = D, "Poor Movie"; 1.5 = D-, "Poor Movie"; bellow 1.5 = F, "Very Poor Movie") : ---> A- " Very Good Movie, Highly Recommend"<---[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]COMMENTS (may contain spoilers):[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]i)The movie is very deep, since it goes much beyond the simple infidelity. It doesn't even moralizes as much as critics content. Rather that it explores male professional and personal crisis and the painful choices he has too make. It's a mature movie with many philosophical quotes like: "The man finds refuge in fucking when he's impotent at everything else."[/size][/color][color=black][font=Arial][/font][/color][/font]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[color=black][font=Times New Roman][size=3]It show how the woman makes distinction between "fucking partners" and "life partners". While a woman might like a good fuck, it's not enough for a "fucking partner" to become women's "life partner". Rather things like "wealth" and "status" is involved, and a man who accepts directly money from the woman for his passionate fuck (or indirectly when she working and he's unemployed) is held in low regard and rarely is chosen as "life partner". [/size][/font][/color]
[size=3] [/size]
[font=Times New Roman][size=3]ii)While the movie is too melodramatic, it's nonetheless originally charming.[/size][/font][/color]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[font=Times New Roman][color=black][size=3]iii) The acting is very effective. Each of the character is distinctly and powerfully portrayed.[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]iv) While presentation is effective and engaging, the film flow stretches a bit too much and superfluous.[/size][/color][color=black][font=Arial][/font][/color][/font]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3][/size][color=black][font=Times New Roman]
[size=3]+) I gave it some bonus for touching controversial issue of male-prostitute.[/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]BALANCED MPAA RATING (not biased in favor of violence and against sexuality, where G = no violence, no sexuality; PG = OK slight violence, OK slight sexuality; PG-13 = OK moderate violence, OK moderate sexuality; R = OK explicit violence, OK explicit sexuality; NC-17 = OK extreme violence, OK extreme sexuality) [/size]
[size=3] [/size]
[size=3]---> PG-13 for moderate sexuality <-[/size][/font][/color]
jennifer's picks & pa
March 26, 2006
[size=2]I'm beginning the rather lengthy task of entering into the database every film I have seen, at least those I have a decent memory of. Some may have the briefest of reviews while many will just have a number. Those films that I consider personal favorites and/or those that have some historical signficance I will add later when I have time for more lengthy reviews.

[b]The Man From Elysian Fields[/b], directed by George Hickenlooper, stars Andy Garcia as a struggling writer who is approached by a man (Mick Jagger) that runs a male escort agency which caters to waelthy women. Desperate for money, Garcia takes the job, all the while keeping this a secret from his wife (Julianne Margulies). The cast also features James Coburn, Olivia Williams and Anjelica Huston. Although the film is uneven, the cast keeps things interesting.

[b]What Women Want[/b], directed by Nancy Myers, is a romantic comedy starring Mel Gibson as a successful ad executive who has always considered himself to be a ladies' man although he's never had a clue to what women really think. Suddenly he is given those powers and he tries to use them to his advantage. There is really nothing new here, nor was the film funny. The cast also includes Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Layren Holly and Alan Alda.

[b]Bringing Down the House[/b], directed by Adam Shankman, stars Steve Martin as a divorcess trying to get his life back in order when convict Queen Latifah arrives. It's an odd couple comedy where Queen Latifah's character has to overcome how Steve Martin tries to stereotype her. For the most part the film fails, but it does have a few laughs. Eugene Levy co-stars.

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