Young Adam

Young Adam

3.6 3
Director: David Mackenzie, Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan

Cast: David Mackenzie, Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan

David Mackenzie directs Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton in the drama Young Adam. The controversial film debuts on DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include commentary


David Mackenzie directs Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton in the drama Young Adam. The controversial film debuts on DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include commentary tracks recorded by the cast and crew, extended scenes, and narration by McGregor that was edited from the final film. This is a solid release from Columbia TriStar.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
This psychological thriller from the U.K. earned notoriety for its explicit sex scenes, but it has a lot more going for it besides the titillation factor. It’s really a first-rate melodrama, deliberately paced and just as deliberately ambiguous, with finely calibrated performances and claustrophobic moodiness. Ewan McGregor, who has proven equally adept in conventional leading-man roles and offbeat character portrayals, stars as Joe Taylor, a rootless drifter who fancies himself a writer. While working on a barge owned by Les Gault (Peter Mullan) and his wife, Ella (Tilda Swinton), Joe fishes from the river the corpse of a young woman whom he apparently knows -- but about whom he is unwilling to talk. Later on, the victim’s boyfriend is charged with her murder, and the trial unfolds as Joe is carrying on with Ella, whose hapless husband apparently knows they’re canoodling behind his back. Young Adam should not be confused for another Postman Always Rings Twice retread; the affair certainly dominates a sizable portion of the film, but it’s by no means the driving element of the plot. If anything, director David Mackenzie (The Last Great Wilderness) employs it as another character-delineating device. Joe, we learn, is cold, detached, and opportunistic; he is capable of acting in his own self-interest but unwilling to intervene or invest himself emotionally. Why, then, does he brood with Dostoyevskian intensity over the fate of the murdered girl? What, if anything, did he have to do with her death? These are the questions that animate Young Adam, and the answers will surprise even the most jaded lovers of movie melodrama.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Director's commentary; Cast and crew commentary; Extended scene; Ewan McGregor original passage narration; Previews

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ewan McGregor Joe Taylor
Tilda Swinton Ella Gault
Peter Mullan Leslie Gault
Emily Mortimer Cathie Dimly
Jack McElhone Jim Gault
Therese Bradley Gwen
Ewan Stewart Daniel Gordon
Stuart McQuarrie Bill
Pauline Turner Connie
Alan Cooke Bob M'bussi
Rory McCann Sam

Technical Credits
David Mackenzie Director,Screenwriter
Tim Alban Sound/Sound Designer
Gillian Berrie Associate Producer
David Byrne Score Composer
Laurence Dorman Production Designer
Jacqueline Durran Costumes/Costume Designer
Mike Elliott Asst. Director
Des Hamilton Casting
Stephan Mallmann Associate Producer
Colin Monie Editor
Colin Nicolson Sound/Sound Designer
Giles Nuttgens Cinematographer
Nick O'Hagan Co-producer
Jim Reeve Co-producer
Stuart Rose Art Director
Meg Speirs Makeup
Alexandra Stone Co-producer
Jeremy Thomas Producer
Peter Watson Associate Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [:10]
2. "No Egg This Morning?" [3:53]
3. Joe's Theory [2:13]
4. Hot Water [3:18]
5. Darts [4:10]
6. As far as She'll Go [3:12]
7. Strangers on the Beach [4:26]
8. Man Overboard [3:24]
9. Carnival [2:27]
10. Reunion With Cathie [3:20]
11. Clean & Dirty [3:38]
12. Off to School [3:43]
13. An Accident [4:21]
14. A Suspect [3:39]
15. "What's the Hurry?" [2:16]
16. Confronting Les [4:23]
17. Trial Date [2:41]
18. Jim Returns [3:17]
19. A Death in the Family [3:43]
20. A New Passenger [1:45]
21. Custard [1:34]
22. Memories of Cathie [4:01]
23. Joe the Lodger [4:06]
24. The Trial Begins [2:05]
25. The Wrong Man [2:53]
26. An Anonymous Note [4:17]
27. Look at Yourself [3:27]
28. Credits [3:57]


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Young Adam 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The haunting beauty of Alexander Trocchi's book YOUNG ADAM was in the descriptive language, a gift of creating the atmospheric visual from the use of carefully chosen words. In collaborating with Trocchi by making the book visual, writer/director David Mackenzie has succeeded in capturing the atmosphere of working class Scotland circa 1950 with all the dank and dark meanderings of a river barge outside of Glasgow on the river Clyde, the scene of all the action in this unique mystery of death and passion and lust. And for the most part Mackenzie relies on the camera to absorb and illuminate the characters and the nearly unbearable story that lurks beneath the murky water's surface. And God created Adam: man, young Adam learning of physical desires that he hopes will inform his chosen career of writing 'different' books. Joe is this young Adam, a man from middle to upper class Glasgow who has been to university to learn his craft then sets out to experience the world. We first meet him (as played with incredible subtlety and animal magnetism by Ewan McGregor) observing the floating body of a young woman, face down in the river. His co-worker Les (Peter Mullan) helps Joe fish her out of the river and call the ambulance. Switch to a smarmy working barge owned by Ella (the amazingly gifted Tilda Swinton who is not afraid to tackle ANY role and make it credible), who happens to married to Les, and is the dingy home of Joe as he descends into the poor working class of Scotland. Through no dialogue and only eye communication between them, Joe seduces Ella in the beginning of a never-ending series of spontaneous sexual encounters with nearly every woman who enters the picture. In a series of flashbacks we gradually learn that the woman fished from the river was Cathie (Emily Mortimer), a sexual liaison of Joe's and Joe is troubled by the memory of her accidental drowning, though he speaks of it to no one. Joe's and Ella's affair is discovered by Les, and Les leaves the barge home he has known, allowing Ella and Joe to continue their lusty affair unafraid. But things happen, the death of Cathie is investigated by the police and a trial is held, condemning another man to hanging for the 'murder' of Cathie. The tragedy is the emotional distance with which Joe isolates himself from not only fact of deed, but from any sense of personal involvement with the multiple sexual partners he has.The story may be cold and depressing, but the character of Joe is a careful examination of one man's survival in a world he seeks to understand. There is a metaphor or two here about where we have come as sexual beings and as citizens of a non-compassionate world. The film can be appreciated on many levels. Yes, there is depiction of Joe's type of instant gratification sex: it is darkly graphic, and there is full frontal nudity of (yes, believe it or not!) BOTH Joe and his consorts - something unusual for American audiences. But the dark coarseness of the lust only underlines the overall story, a story that is so well developed with minimal dialogue that it is completely absorbing. None of this could have been possible without the stunning performances by Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton, two actors who understand the power of understatement. Perhaps not a film for everyone, but for those who are hungry for dark stories and richly detailed canvases on film, this film is highly recommended. Of note, an 'added feature' on the DVD shows how the film was originally intended to have voice-over by McGregor, who reveals some of the beauty of Trocchi's original writing. It makes one wish for more....
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though the movie left me depressed, cold, and somewhat repulsed--you'll want to rush home and take a long shower to get the coal off, and for other reasons--it was another great job by Ewan. I couldn't fathom why Swinson was cast--no sex appeal or beauty whatever, in fact downright annoyingly unattractive. Perhaps a voiceover Would have enhanced the movie overall; Ewan is excellent at that too. I don't want him to play any more empty characters! However, I will see Every movie he makes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What an emotionless portrayal of an emotionless man. Ewan yet again proves that he is a force in both the Hollywood community and in the independent forum. Not only for having the bravery to go against American cliché and fight to keep his full frontal nudity in the film, but also for having the gumption to take this role. To me there's nothing "young" about this character, he was a mature man that desperately needed to find himself and clear his conscience. This movie should of been called "Lost Adam" or Guilty conscience Adam." The cover of this DVD doesn't serve him any justice.