Volume 16 • Issue 50 | May 7 - 13, 2004

CINEMA


Koch on Film

By, Ed Koch

“Young Adam” (+)
This is a difficult movie to like and recommend, but I do.

The difficulty lies in its dark main character, Joe (Ewan McGregor), who works on a coal hauling barge in Glasgow, Scotland. He is employed by Les (Peter Mullan) and his wife Ella (Tilda Swinton) who owns the barge.

Joe, an amoral anti-hero, has the ability to charm every woman he meets with his engaging smile, and before long they are tearing off one another’s clothes and having jack-rabbit encounters. But his relationships are simply carnal; he is classically averse to commitment. On the barge, Joe beds Ella, cuckolding her husband Les, his drinking companion. They cause Les to discover their affair which is further complicated by the fact that the couple’s young son lives onboard.

Several flashbacks take place throughout the film, one of which shows Joe recovering a woman’s near naked body floating in the bay. In another flashback, we learn that the dead woman is Joe’s old girlfriend, Cathie (Emily Mortimer). An innocent man is accused of her murder, and during the trial Joe makes an ineffective effort to reveal the truth, fearing that he will be accused of murder.

The movie is kinky and contains very few loveable moments; nevertheless, it will be absorbing to most and fascinating to some. HS said, “I learned about coal barges shuttling down narrow canals and through vaginal tunnels. The picture is absorbing while one waits for Joe’s next catch. It has a dark view of both men and women and sufficient nudity for an NC-17 rating. But those looking for hard-core action will be disappointed, except for a kitchen encounter which evokes “Last Tango in Paris” and “Deliverance.”

–Ed Koch


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