6.6/10
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63 user 63 critic

Bright Young Things (2003)

R | | Comedy, Drama, War | 3 October 2003 (UK)
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2:22 | Trailer

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An adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel "Vile Bodies", is a look into the lives of a young novelist, his would-be lover, and a host of young people who beautified London in the 1930s.

Director:

Stephen Fry

Writers:

Stephen Fry (screenplay), Evelyn Waugh (novel)
10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Simon McBurney ... Sneath (Photo-Rat)
Michael Sheen ... Miles Maitland
Emily Mortimer ... Nina
James McAvoy ... Simon Balcairn
Stephen Campbell Moore ... Adam
Stockard Channing ... Mrs Melrose Ape
Adrian Scarborough ... Customs Officer
Jim Carter ... Chief Customs Officer
Fenella Woolgar ... Agatha
Dan Aykroyd ... Lord Monomark
Julia McKenzie ... Lottie Crump
Bruno Lastra ... Basilio
David Tennant ... Ginger Littlejohn
Jim Broadbent ... The Drunken Major
John Franklyn-Robbins John Franklyn-Robbins ... Judge
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Storyline

A fool and his money. In the 1930s, Adam Fenwick-Symes (Stephen Campbell Moore) is part of the English idle class, wanting to marry the flighty Nina Blount (Emily Mortimer). He's a novelist with a one hundred-pound advance for a manuscript confiscated by English customs. He spends the next several years trying to get money and to set a wedding date. He trades in gossip, wins money on wagers, then gives it to a drunken Major (Jim Broadbent), who suggested he bet on a horse in an upcoming race. Adam tries to get the money back, but can't find the Major. Meanwhile, Nina needs security, friends drink too much, and general unhappiness spoils the party. Then war breaks out. Is Adam's bright youth dimming with the fall of an empire? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sex... Scandal... Celebrity... Some things never change.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Agria niata See more »

Filming Locations:

Port of Tilbury, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£327,293 (United Kingdom), 5 October 2003, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$46,926, 22 August 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$931,755, 14 November 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer and Director Stephen Fry commissioned two contemporary songs from The Pet Shop Boys for the movie, a cover version of Noël Coward's "The Party's Over Now", and a Pet Shop Boys-penned title track. The title track was written and recorded, but Fry elected not to use any Pet Shop Boys' performances, preferring to utilize only period music in this movie. See more »

Goofs

Although the issues of "The Daily Express" displayed throughout the film continually give the date as 1931, the outbreak of World War II is announced on the BBC. This event took place on September 3, 1939. Approximately eight years passed in the space of several months of the film's storyline. See more »

Quotes

Adam Fenwick-Symes: I say, this could be rather fun. I could even make up fashions. If I can't get Archie Shwert to wear suede shoes within a month, you can call me Diedre in public.
Nina Blount: Yellow suede shoes.
Adam Fenwick-Symes: Oh, Nina darling! You are a genius! And green bowler hats.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits list the actors one or two at a time, showing pictures of their characters in the film along with their names. See more »

Connections

Featured in From the Bottom Up (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Running Wild
Performed by The Not So Bright Young Things
See more »

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User Reviews

A pretty good first stab
3 October 2003 | by azeemakSee all my reviews

Stephen Fry is such a prodigious polymath that it's no surprise what a good fist he's made of his directorial debut. That's not to say it's wholly successful; the characters are so shallow that it is hard to warm to them, although it should be pointed out that this is not necessarily a fault. Indeed, it's refreshing these days to find a film in which characters are not trying to ingratiate themselves. Emily Mortimer is exempt from this observation in any case, as she's just so adorable - and is it just me or does she look a dead spit for the young Mary Steenburgen?

I found not only the camerawork but the lighting extremely gaudy, sometimes offputtingly so. However, Fry is admirably adventurous in some of his camera sweeps, not playing it safe as some inexperienced directors do.

As to the performances, it is true that Simon Callow hams it up quite outrageously (although he still wrung a couple of chuckles out of me), and I found Michael Sheen's uber-camp queen rather wearing, until his scene at the end which I thought he handled well. I know I'm not the first person to say this, but it bears repetition: Fenella Woolgar is a revelation in this film, conveying the insouciance of the upper class effortlessly (and the scene after the "orgy" with the stern family is priceless). James McEvoy was excellent too.

Oh, and by the way, to whomever described Evelyn Waugh as "herself one of the beauties of the age" - you may have been joking, but in case not, Evelyn Waugh was in fact a curmudgeonly man who would no doubt have snorted to hear himself thus described!


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