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Laurel Canyon
Laurel Canyon
Actors: Frances McDormand, Alessandro Nivola, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale, Natascha McElhone
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
R     2003     1hr 43min

A straight-laced psychiatrist and his prim fianc?e move into his hedonistic mother's home during his internship. Genre: Feature Film-Drama Rating: R Release Date: 13-SEP-2005 Media Type: DVD


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Movie Details

Actors: Frances McDormand, Alessandro Nivola, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale, Natascha McElhone
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Creators: Wally Pfister, Lisa Cholodenko, Dara Weintraub, David McGiffert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Scott Ferguson, Susan A. Stover
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned,Live,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/15/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 43min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: French

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Member Movie Reviews

Suzanne B.
Reviewed on 9/25/2008...
I really enjoyed this film -- it was a real treat watching Frances McDormand portray a character so unlike her other roles. And Kate Beckinsale is georgeous and beautifully tranforms her character (I don't want to be a spoiler, so I won't say how). The film has a true "indie" feel, yet features well-known actors. Complex relationships. Some drug use, profanity, sexual content.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Hilda S. from YORKTOWN, VA
Reviewed on 5/4/2008...
This was a pretty good portrayal of a dsyfunctional relationship between a mother and son, and how it affected the other relationships that they both shared. Wonderful performances by Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsdale, and Frances McDormand was stellar.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Frances McDormand is a "babe" in every sense of the word
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 08/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've always loved Frances McDormand. She completely gets into every role she plays. And in this film she's better than ever. Laurel Canyon is an area of Los Angeles where only the people who have "made it" live She's cast as Jane, a successful record producer in her mid forties. She lives her life with constant energy and enthusiasm. She smokes illegal substances and eats vegetarian. She looks great too, and is a "babe" in every sense of the word. We soon learn she has a long list of former lovers, both male and female. But currently she's involved with a young British rocker, played by Allesandro Nivola, and their couplings burn up the screen. Her son, Sam, on the other hand, played by Christian Bale, is exactly the opposite. He's just graduated from Harvard Medical School and is engaged to Alex, played by Kate Beckinsale, who is not only a doctor, but also a research scientist. They're supposed to borrow Jane's home while he completes his residency in a local hospital, but it doesn't work out that way. Jane stays in the house, which is also a recording studio, to finish up a record with the rock band. At the hospital, Sam meets a fellow doctor, Sara, played by Natascha McElhone and there is immediate electricity between them. And Alex spends her days in the house where she finds it impossible to concentrate on her dissertation and is welcomed downstairs to hang out with Jane and the band. Soon she's indulging in Jane's lifestyle. Eventually, she finds herself in a unique romantic scene.Conflict is inevitable of course, and the film plays out in a predictable way. And, when I think of it, the storyline is a little silly. But I loved the fact that the film was about an unconventional lifestyle. And I was amazed at the intensity of Frances McDormand's performance, which called for a full gamut of emotions. She made every scene in which she appeared sparkle and all other scenes paled in comparison.The film was written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko and even though the film is set in the present, there was a clear echo of the 1970s and the forces behind the rock music industry. Very enjoyable film. I highly recommend it."
Lisa Cholodenko embodies inhibitions, choices, and love...
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 07/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The story surrounds Sam's (Christian Bale) mother Jane (Frances McDormand) who is a successful pleasure-seeking record producer in California. Sam escaped the hedonistic life style of his mother to seek a more responsible spot in the world through attending the Harvard Medical School from which he has recently graduated with a emphasis in psychiatry. In addition, Sam has furthered his rebellion against his mothers life style by proposing to a beautiful Harvard scientist, Alex (Kate Beckinsale). The perfectionist Alex moves with Sam to California where she can work on her thesis in regards to fruit flies and Sam can begin his residency in psychiatry. In order to save some money Sam and Alex move temporarily into Jane's house, which is a haven for drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll. Alex, who grew up in a rigid life style with country clubs and specific societal rules, are fascinated by Jane's life style and begins to explore the world that she never has experienced, which is about to lead into an emotionally painful journey. Laurel Canyon is a terrific film about inhibitions, choices, and love, which Lisa Cholodenko embodies through the different characters. Cholodenko depicts the personal rules of the characters through social interactions between the characters as well as in the mise-en-scene. These personal rules are about to be broken as the characters are set in a society where rules are not the norm or wanted. This leads to interpersonal conflicts as it will most certainly hurt the individuals in the social setting in which they live. The conflicts lead the audience to ponder what is acceptable and desirable in our contemporary society where many different norms exists. In essence these norms are scrutinized through the fine direction and performance by an excellent cast."
Spend the time to watch this one..............
J. Brown | Missouri | 07/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"it's not "edge of your seat" or dripping with romance, but its good. good, in that you can FEEL it. the tension, the issues, the past, all of it. kate b. is OKAY, her guy is okay. their generic relationship is okay. but, i think its real. Now, lets look at francis. SHE, ONCE AGAIN, IS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if for no other reason you rent this movie, RENT IT TO SEE FRANCIS!!!!!! could she be any more real???? what an actress!!!!! actually, what a SOUL. i mean, what a soul she must have to pull from (to play these roles). rent this movie. she, alone, makes it worth it."