Young Adam Reviews
Where does the title come from? Still baffled by that. The barge (which is actually owned by Ella, not her husband) is named the Atlantic Eve. Maybe this gives a clue.
Joe is very passive in his approach to women, even though he beds every single (or married!) one of them he comes across. More interesting sides to his character are not really explored, particularly his writing. We see him reading a lot but at some stage has given up on being a successful writer and throws his typewriter into the Clyde. One of his girlfriends who was supporting him while he tried to write his novel accused him of not writing popular stuff, I would have loved to have learnt more about that side of his life.
"I Made Some Custard"
It was during that scene I actually laughed, yes LAUGHED. Joe is sitting around trying to write his novel when his girlfriend, who has been supporting him for the last eight months, arrives home from work and accuses him of wasting his day while she's been bringing home the bacon. She asks him what he's been doing all day and Joe (straight-faced) replies he made some custard! McGregor is wonderful as he tells her that, perfect expression - I could imagine the actors bursting out laughing as the camera stopped rolling. Anyhow what happens after that sees our hero at his least passive! Controversially, his use of violence here is portrayed as possibly part of a sex game. I got the impression the director doesn't allow Cathie to be the total victim but we are not sure how far she is a willing partner or not. Joe doesn't console her afterwards or follow-up for her pleasure or tend to her. This mix of violence and sex is no doubt disturbing but their relationship lasted 16 more months and Cathie kicked him out in the end and they parted amicably, both agreeing their time together was up. Director's attitude unclear.
The score by David Byrne is very appropriate for the mood, with the sound of the cello coming out underneath all the broody goings-on.
Lacked any real impact, in its conclusion. Yeah, McGregor's character is a scumbag loner who doesn't take responisbility for his actions, so what, you don't care for the guy. It was a good preformance though.
It is very cleverly constructed film and holds the attention to the end, and the naturalistic acting has its own, considerable, power. Tilda Swinton's performance was outstanding and Ewan McGregor had no need for his easy charm - it was tough, it was rough... but both of them were perfect choice for a depressing film exuding hopelessness and inviting us to pity the characters! There was no desire to share in their tragic condition - the atmosphere was always in the mood of "they deserved it". Even when the storytelling looks disjointed, it was a wonderful job from David Mckenzie deliberately jumping back and forth in time without warning, so that the meaning of events and the connections among them emerge retrospectively. Created mood of unease and dislocation follows creepingly and persisting even after certain crucial mysteries are solved. The understated score (by David Byrne) was just adding to the whole experience of male narcissism, as expressed through erotic need. The camera work in this film is something many should learn from - precise and visually eye catching. Recommended for a quiet morning or night!
And the feature successfully depicts the colorless, chilly mood story backdrop as well. Which, however, turns out to be too pale & dull at the same time.
The soundtrack went very well with the imagery. I was particularly struck by Tilda Swinton's performance as Ella - from the long, whispy body hair to the crumbs falling from her mouth, she was every inch the bargewoman. Ewan McGregor was great, of course. He's a phenomenal actor, perhaps my favorite.
This film is not for the faint of heart. 17 and up.