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Laurel Canyon [DVD] [2003]


Price: £5.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Laurel Canyon [DVD] [2003] + Everybody's Fine [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Frances McDormand, Alessandro Nivola, Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale, Natascha McElhone
  • Directors: Lisa Cholodenko
  • Writers: Lisa Cholodenko
  • Producers: Dara Weintraub, David McGiffert, Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte, Scott Ferguson, Susan A. Stover
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 26 April 2004
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001FYREE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,200 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Laurel Canyon, a street that runs through the heart of the Hollywood Hills, has for decades been a sort of Greenwich Village of the West, home to many musicians, actors, artists and other bohemian types. Among its current residents is Jane (Frances McDormand), a veteran record producer, trying to come up with a hit single for a British band whose lead singer Ian (Alessandro Nivola) is her much younger lover. Jane's son Sam (Christian Bale) and his fiancé Alex (Kate Beckinsale) are both recent graduates of Harvard medical school. Conservative and serious, the couple move to Los Angeles to complete their studies, planning to stay in Jane's home, which she had promised would be vacant. But when they arrive, Sam is distressed to discover Jane and the band still working in Jane's home recording studio. Jane's carefree lifestyle is anathema to Sam, who has devoted his life to being anyone but his mother's son. Sam and Alex begrudgingly agree to stay at Jane's house until they can find an alternative place to live. Once in the house, however, Sam and Alex's tight control over their lives begins to unravel. Increasingly, Alex finds herself seduced by Jane and Ian, leaving Sam adrift, vulnerable to the approach of fellow medical resident Sara (Natascha McElhone). The Brit-pop sounds of Ian's band and the sun bleached southern California landscape set the tone for this rigorously honest exploration of relationships between people with wildly divergent worldviews.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Taylor on 7 Nov 2009
Format: DVD
...and I found it by accident. I was looking for Alessandro Nivola, who is achingly gorgeous (see him in Mansfield Park) and this came up, and seeing it had some pretty big names, all of whom I admire, on an impulse I bought it! I don't think Frances McDormand has ever made a dud film and I've seen most of them, she's just utterly brilliant. In fact the whole cast was excellent. The story centres around Bale, Mr Uptight, and his straight laced academic girlfriend, Beckinsale. They need a place to stay LA while Bale takes up a medical post. They're offered McDormand's (Bale's Mother, who it seems he's disapproved of since he left her womb) house in 'Laurel Canyon'. It's supposed to be empty but McDormand (this fast living, hippy chick, record producer) is there with a band, who's lead singer (Nivola) is also her current squeeze and they're against the clock trying to cut a record (that's old fashioned speak, I don't think they're called records anymore?). I won't try to tell the story as it's better watched but the shift in the dynamics between this mix of peole is very well done. It covers the full spectrum of emtions, it's very honest and heart warming and a bit sad, but it's also sexy. Though best of all it's bloody funny, not laugh out loud funny, it's not a comedy, but you'll smile a lot. I loved it, I've watched it twice, the second time with my son and he loved it too!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Dec 2009
Format: DVD
I had high hopes for this film, expecting something of an insight into the world represented by Ladies Of The Canyon (Joni Mitchell's album was apparently the inspiration for the film's writer and director Lisa Cholodenko). The story's premise is the transplantation of uptight, over-intellectual hung-up east-coast Sam and Alex into the free-lovin', pot-smokin', laid-back west-coast household of Jane, Sam's mother. There's an immediate tension: Sam is a psychiatrist, Alex is finishing her dissertation on the sex lives of fruit flies (no, really) and Jane is a record producer with a bad-boy English rock singer lover called Ian (somehow that doesn't sound like an appropriate name for a bad-boy English rock singer).

While Sam tries to get to grips with his new job and deal with the attentions of a sexy colleague equipped with a pair of unreasonably large doe-like eyes, Alex taps away on her computer and peers at molecular models until, one day, the intriguing sounds of the tracks being laid down by Ian's band under Jane's direction become just too irresistible. And then... but you can probably guess what happens after that. It's not a bad story, but somehow I didn't really believe in it, or connect to the characters. Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale play Sam and Alex as so buttoned-down for so long that any displays of extreme emotion appear inauthentic, and the change in their relationship seems implausible. Frances McDormand's idiosyncratic performance as Jane is more interesting, but I couldn't really see why she'd be wasting her time with such a self-serving twit as Ian.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Blik Snyman on 22 Mar 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love this movie - saw it 3 times now and it's as good or even better than the first time. Only weakness is Natascha McElhone who to my mind is a silly actress - she has only one look: opens her eyes wide and give a supposedly seductive smile (she does it all the time in Californication where she's also badly casted) and her accent is pretty awful. Luckily we don't see much of her. The other leads are great, especially Frances McDormand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chulsk on 15 May 2011
Format: DVD
So terribly boring. Story seems to be a lightly structured excuse for good actors to "expreess" their characters. These characters are one dimensional, and have the feel that they being given the space to develop their roles-it all seems like an experiment, with the actors all seeming like they've just left acting school and trying to impress each other with the grasp they have of their role. The cast are to a person unbelievable, their actions and motivations highly questionable; for instance, the young jogger who buys pizza & smokes and joins in a threesome with her partner's mother & boyfriend all too slavishly to allow the "plot" to move on. I couldn't wait for the end of this film, which finished predictably with a non conclusive scene. There are so many better films to watch than this sel indulgent waste of time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By gary on 22 Dec 2003
Format: DVD
Laurel Canyon is an unusual film for Hollywood. It is not your typical story line and that makes it interesting. It is about a young med student coming home with his (also med student) girlfriend to stay at his mother's place expecting she will not be home. Instead she is, and rather than this young couple being the free spirits, it turns out that Mom is a hippy holdover; albeit a fairly successful one who works in the recording industry. Frances McDormand plays Mom, and she is really what makes the movie worth watching. The British rock stars are also kind of cool!
The film says a lot about the relationship between mother & son. Some bits about the mother-girlfriend-rock star relationship are a little harder to imagine. Still, the film is worth watching, certainly for the acting, but also perhaps just to see the lifestyles of the rich and perverted!
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