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Metropolitan (The Criterion Collection)
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And gold is an apt visual metaphor, particularly when juxtaposed against the black satin of a tuxedo lapel or the wintry Manhattan night scape, for a world seemingly vanishing right before our eyes--a world too sleek, too soigné, too genteel to survive the steam roller of galloping blue-jeaned egalitarianism.
That the denizens of this vanishing breed, as depicted in the film, are themselves, insecure late adolescents, make its departure all the more poignant.
"This is probably the last Deb season..." one of them observes resignedly, "...because of the stock market, the economy, Everything..." Yes, everything...the huge smothering subject that hovers all around the plot itself and from which its characters are only temporarily insulated.
In particular, the focus here is on a group of privileged Eastern Seaboard collegians enjoying the Christmas holidays in a series of Park Avenue, "after dance parties," in which they loll about and ruefully anticipate the disappearance of their youth, their success, and their kind.
That they are one at the same time cerebral, immature, literate, prankish, frightened, polished, well educated but vulnerable and inexperienced, puts them well outside the troglodyte teens that inhabit the deconstructionist zoo in most post 1970 films, (with the exception of a unfortunate and mis-placed "strip poker" sequence which violates the picture's otherwise overall mood.Read more ›
The story follows a group of upper-crust New York preppies during the Christmas debutante season. These are kids for whom black-tie balls at the Plaza Hotel and charming little soirees in Park Avenue apartments are serious matters. They are the UHB-"urban haute bourgeoisie"-a social circle carrying out traditions so anachronistic as to seem alien; traditions, in fact, which were outdated before these characters were even born.
A middle class outsider and budding socialist named Tom Townsend (Edward Clements) happens into this elite group and briefly livens things up. He shocks them with his leftist rhetoric (he is a devotee of Fourier) and anti-deb outlook, but they nonetheless find themselves drawn to him. Tom finds a kindred spirit in the cynically fatalistic Nick (Christopher Eigeman). Nick is the most self-aware member of the inner circle and he provides comic relief with his devastating ongoing critique of their lives and behavior.
Stillman's characters seem to have everything going for them. They are bright and educated and come from very wealthy families. We learn, though, that privilege is both their blessing and their curse. These children of status are destined to always remain in the shadow of their very successful parents. As one of them puts it, "We're doomed to failure." We come to realize that even though they are well-off in many ways, they still must struggle with the same insecurities and fears as the rest of us.
The characters in "Metropolitan" are the kind of people that F.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The film itself is a masterpiece. The multi-format Blu-Ray version in terms of quality is not great. The picture is filled with noise, as in tiny flecks of color. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Drive-In Kid
A movie that captures a time, place and culture perfectly. I have watched and re-watched this movie many times. It is truly brilliant.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
A small production but a wonderful movie. Reminds me of the Richard Linklater "Before..." series. Very much like a play. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Probably Whit Stillman's best and rather realistic, if in those now far-off days you hung with a certain crowd.Published 10 months ago by Katherine T. Rohrer
One of the true classics. I'm so excited for its 25 year anniversary.Published 11 months ago by Lance Orchid
This is a well-made and well-acted movie, Whit Stillman's first, from 1990, and featuring a group of actors who were not, and still are not, well-known. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Stanley Crowe