Young Adam Phoenix Friday 10-Thursday 16 October The discovery by Ewan McGregor’s Joe, of a young woman’s corpse in a Glaswegian canal sparks off a self-appraisal and insight into his seemingly directionless life. What’s there is darker than the coal he ferries around in Ella and Les’s barge. A story of failure, adultery, dirt and lies, all presented with lashings of sex. Based on Alexandre Trocchi’s cult novel, the film manages to convey all the nihilistic themes characteristic of 1950s beat writing. Departing from the moment the corpse is discovered, the narrative slowly takes us forwards and backwards to reveal how Joe’s attitude to life affects all those around him. The viewer is left wondering, until the very end, about this strange man’s motivations and the repercussions of his actions. All the actors shine against Mackenzie’s grey and desolate Scottish background, and in McGregor’s case this can only be a very welcome rescue from the talent-less vortex known as Star Wars. Every scene buzzes with intensity, from the metaphoric slow shots of the canal bed to the perverse homemade custard sex sequence. It’s all about real people flowing along familiarly absurd courses; surely these are the only young bright things worth watching.ARCHIVE: 0th Week MT2003