The words that spring to mind here are, 'heart warming' and this is a word that if I see it attached to a film, I run a mile. By straying from the "norms" of his serious, medical student world, Bale understands his mother's complexities and foibles and thus establishes the bond with her that he has possibly sought all his life. Jump to: Production Companies (3) | Distributors (16) | Other Companies (93) Production Companies . Parents Guide, Drama/Crime #52FilmsByWomen #DirectedByWomen – In Progress. Her growing fascination with Jane and Ian leads to a scene where the three of them kiss one another while naked in the swimming pool. Directed by Lisa Cholodenko. But, they change by degrees, not by full turns of the wheel. Kate Beckinsale, as good as I have ever seen her since Cold Comfort Farm, is Alex, Sam's fiancé who decides to take a walk on the wild side while out in California. And, Laurel Canyon makes the point better than a debate ever will. In a change of plans, however, Jane is still around, recording an album with her British boyfriend, Ian McKnight (Alessandro Nivola), and his band. A work in progress, it asks the question Who isn't? Sam and Jane are always at odds with each other as he is ultraconservative and Jane is like a teenager. User Ratings Jane and Ian are in the midst of a fiery romance, and both the producer and the band seem more interested in partying than finishing the record. Bale tries his best to keep Beckinsale away from his mother knowing the effect she has on people and how she learns them to screw up their lives, something he apparently doesn't want to happen to his girlfriend. Very impressed; tight script and great character acting, Drama/Crime #52FilmsByWomen #DirectedByWomen – In Progress. This is a really interesting movie; not quite sure why or how it hasn't received more kudos that it has. ), never in her life having the chance to experience a lifestyle like the one McDormand and the other rockers are having starts to feel the effect of that lifestyle on her, an effect she could never imagine. Jane also has a slew of rock-and-roll men living in her house, most notably, Ian (Alessandro Nivola), her primary boyfriend with an irresistible accent - but then again Jane and Ian don't really label anything, especially relationships. GRADE: A-. I especially enjoyed her little speech to "Dr. Bale" that "naked is inner," that she didn't wish to conceal her "warm supple skin," while alluding to the barren desert that is the world out there. In a fit of rage he repeatedly punches Ian, hits his mother with his elbow as she tries to split up the fight, and leaves the hotel, but Alex chases him down the street and professes her love for him. (One critic complained that the movie isn't dark enough.) He decides they should move into his mother's house, in Laurel Canyon, believing that his mother, played by Francis McDormand is staying in her beach house. It is interesting to see how personal perspective is, well, personal. The screenplay in its simplicity has an incredible depth and reliability, whether it is on the awkward situations characters get into, or the sexual adventures, that some of us have been through. Between the generation of hippie organic mama (Frances McDormand) and her predictably uptight conservative doctor son (Christian Bale) and his uber egghead grad student girlfriend (Kate Beckinsale) are the silences of a parent who did her thing and a son who didn't. [10], A Look at Frances McDormand in Laurel Canyon - IGN, "Cast & Crew: Lisa Cholodenko, Director/Screenplay", "The Mystique of The Hollywood Hills; Lisa Cholodenko on "Laurel Canyon, "Now, An Updated Edition Of The 102 Best Lesbian Movies Of All Time", Official DVD Site (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment),, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 July 2020, at 20:57. Wrong, I hope. After the party has finished and the three of them are left alone in the suite, Ian tries to "finish" (in his words) his encounter with Alex and Jane, but the latter decides against it and the threesome does not take place. She seems more interested in smoking pot and drinking than actually working though. Sam (Christian Bale) and Alex (Kate Beckinsale) are an uptight, New York couple in complete control of their lives, until they move in with Sam's mother Jane (Frances McDormand) who is a loose hippie (in all senses of the words). When an uptight young man and his fiancée move into his libertine mother's house, the resulting clash of life attitudes shakes everyone up. The acting in the film was excellent. And even Jane is beginning to recognize her own faults-she had several lovers throughout her life is starting to feel the need to settle on just one, Ian. [3] The script was workshopped at Sundance Institute's lab. I'm writing this in an effort to offset some of the negativity this film seems to have elicited. :) Also, "Laurel Canyon" shows how frail and tenuous life's relationships can be. Sam is being tempted by the fruit of another woman named Sara (Natascha McElhone), as their share their sexual desires with each other over private conversations in a car. | Be the first to contribute! It is a nice little morality play, classical in proportions, and thus two-dimensional; but that is not a negative comment, simply an observation. She and Frances McDormand are as real as any two actors you'll ever see on film. Just click the "Edit page" button at the bottom of the page or learn more in the Synopsis submission guide. Beckinsale who is also a doctor, working on her dissertation on the ... sexual life of flies (!!! `Laurel Canyon' is about a man named Sam (Bale) and his fiancé Alex (Kate Bekinsale) who move to California so he can begin his medical residency at a local hospital and she can finish her dissertation. Of course it's inevitable not to happen. I don't know if it will be as successful as the director's much-lauded "High Art" from several years ago; "Laurel Canyon" is not as serious, though it does explore some of the same themes. Every character starts to understand that they are all the extreme end of different spectrums and they must learn to meet somewhere in the middle. I never get tired of watching this movie, either. This is an insightful and truly under-appreciated film. Definitely McDormand's best work outside of "Fargo"; her versatility and talent continue to amaze and impress. Although she is in her mid 40s, she lives the life of a rock star, smoking pot, drinking, partying, and hanging out with her rock star boyfriend Ian (Alessandro Nivola), who is 16 years younger than she. There is nothin… If my wife doesn't fall asleep in the middle of our evening movie, I know it's got something going for it, particularly if she's seen it several times before. Plot Keywords The grown son (Christian Bale) of a record producer (Frances McDormand) ends up bringing his girl friend (Kate Bekinsdale) to California. I honestly think that open-minded people will find a lot to like in it. This very stylish story is just chock block with fine acting, sharp writing, a great soundtrack, and gorgeous camera work. With Frances McDormand, Alessandro Nivola, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale. Cholodenko has said the film was inspired by Joni Mitchell's album, Ladies of the Canyon.