Urbania (2000)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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One of the most talked-about movies of the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, this film, directed by Jon Shear, recalls the edgy, aggressively-political qualities of early '90s queer cinema such as Poison (1991) and Swoon (1991) -- and throws in a few nods to Martin Scorsese's late-night New York City odyssey film After Hours (1985) for good luck. Dashing young yuppie Charlie (Dan Futterman) is losing control of his life after the loss of his longtime companion Chris (Matt Keeslar). Alone in his apartment, he can hear his upstairs neighbors (Bill Sage and Megan Dodds) engage in noisy lovemaking that leaves him lonely, frustrated, and aroused. He wanders the neon-drenched streets of Manhattan at night as if he were a wraith. Later, at a bar with the amorous couple, the trio get into a loud, ugly argument about public displays of affection. Around this same time, Charlie notices a mysterious, tattooed stranger, and the two exchange looks. Intrigued, Charlie sets out looking for the man, and in the process, he launches himself on a nightmarish journey through the underside of New York. He happens upon an increasingly odd array of people, each telling progressively more bizarre tales that are purportedly true. German actress Barbara Sukowa appears in a cameo in which she tells Charlie of a sexual tryst she had in a bar's restroom. Alan Cumming appears as a friend who has a crush on Charlie, while Lothaire Bluteau plays a stammering bum. Soon reality and fiction, straight and gay all fuse and blur in Charlie's increasingly troubled psyche.
R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Directed By:
Written By:
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Dan Futterman
as Charlie
Bill Sage
as Chuck
Paige Turco
as Cassandra
Megan Dodds
as Deedee
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Critic Reviews for Urbania

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (6)

One of the boldest entries in 2000 Sundance Fest, Shear's impressive debut is a darkly intriguing drama that probes the nature of love and lasting effects of loss, beautifully played by Dan Futterman (who later became known as the scripter of Capote)

Full Review… | September 1, 2006
Top Critic

An impressive feature debut about the nature of love and loss, as felt by a group of characters, some of which gay.

Full Review… | May 14, 2011

A provocative and cathartic story about the impossibility of retribution and the challenge of redemption.

Full Review… | September 17, 2005

Superb parts and a muddled whole is one way you can describe this eventually incisive look into one man's homosexuality.

Full Review… | April 2, 2001

The disorienting film takes devious delight in layering various versions of the stories so that we feel like we're jurors looking into a courtroom lined with funhouse mirrors.

Full Review… | January 30, 2001
Internet Reviews

It's dark! It's edgy! It's all pretty trite and tiresome!

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Urbania


***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Started out as a really cool idea...Urban Legends come to life..and then it turns gay...real gay..Literally

Michael Anthony
Michael Anthony

Urbania is a WONDERFUL film. Although 40% of it is bogged down with the stuff of Urban legends, the remaining 60% tells a beautiful, if troubling story or love and loss. Dan FUTTERMAN and Matthew KEESLAR both win and break my heart. If you are a gay man, this is an absolute must see -- however, the beauty of the film is that, while its main characters are gay, it isn't AT ALL about them being gay, so being gay is not at all essential to appreciating and LOVING this film. See this one if you like a little thrill with your urban epic romances. Urbania: A-

Ryan Oliver
Ryan Oliver

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