Metroland is a well-framed inquiry into the outcomes of divergent lifestyles: bohemian freedom of Paris in the '60s and the stabilizing securities offered to nuclear families in London suburbia circa 1970. Chris (Christian Bale) is the married man into whose comfy home Toni (Lee Ross) intrudes. Toni is an old friend defined by carefree careenings that haven't ceased. Under the press of Toni's questions, Chris begins to yearn for his freewheeling youth in Paris with sexy girlfriend Annick (Elsa Zylberstein). The film counterbalances Chris's malaised nostalgia by suggesting Toni's jealousy of Chris's current position. Chris's wise wife is convincingly rendered by Emily Watson. Metroland succeeds as an inquiry into ambivalence. British director Philip Saville articulates the sharp-edged shapes of doubt, reassessment, and introspection without losing a naturalistic ease.
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