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A fool and his money. In the 1930s, Adam Fenwick-Symes (Stephen Campbell Moore) is part of the English idle class, wanting to marry the flighty Nina Blount (Emily Mortimer). He's a novelist with a one hundred-pound advance for a manuscript confiscated by English customs. He spends the next several years trying to get money and to set a wedding date. He trades in gossip, wins money on wagers, then gives it to a drunken Major (Jim Broadbent), who suggested he bet on a horse in an upcoming race. Adam tries to get the money back, but can't find the Major. Meanwhile, Nina needs security, friends drink too much, and general unhappiness spoils the party. Then war breaks out. Is Adam's bright youth dimming with the fall of an empire?Written by
Although the issues of "The Daily Express" displayed throughout the film continually give the date as 1931, the outbreak of World War II is announced on the BBC. This event took place on September 3, 1939. Approximately eight years passed in the space of several months of the film's storyline. See more »
[Telling his fake news story]
The most shocking orgy since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah rocked society last night.
Hold the presses, get down to compositing. Now.
The vulgar evangelist, Mrs. Melrose Ape, proudly revealed that her angels were no more than underage adornments on sale to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, tears coursing down her face, the honorable Agatha... , whose repulsive liason with the Prime Minister shocked the nation this week, bewailed her, quote: "Ruined, bogus, vapid, ...
[...] See more »
The end credits list the actors one or two at a time, showing pictures of their characters in the film along with their names. See more »
The film Bright Young Things, adapted from Evelyne Waugh's acclaimed fable; Vile Bodies is manic in its pace. As such it is reminiscent of His Girl Friday (1940) with its legendary speed of comedy delivery. The difference with His Girl Friday the speed of the comedy delivery is applied to loquaciousness with a bit of slap stick. Director Stephen Fry of Bright Young Things on the other hand utilises speed to articulate the decadence of the period. As such he is affective in his endeavour of making his point of a decadent aristocracy.
The depressing aspect of the film is that the aristocracy are portrayed as decadent party animals, unlike the poor who in their pursuit of escaping their worries are (in today's post modern Britain) often labelled as 'feckless' by the tabloid press. But as the impoverished poor struggled to feed themselves across Europe during the inter-war period, the aristocracy idly carried on without social conscience or obligation to responsibility. Such decadence at the expense of the poor contributed towards the rise of extreme politics in Europe during the 1920s.
Contributing to the masses' public perception of the idle rich decadence of the inter-war period was the tabloid press. The press baron in the film is shown as suppressing the realities of the issues affecting the ordinary people of Britain for profit, and thereby concealing truth.
While Fry adeptly captures the decadence of the 20s in Bright Young Things, Peter O'Toole steels the film with his outstanding satirising of the stereotypical English eccentric. As the eccentric of the upper classes O'Toole's character Colnol Blout is the epitome of English two faced diplomacy of the ruling classes. The example being when he writes a cheque out for £1000 to help his prospective son-in-law to marry his daughter, when he signs it in the name of Charlie Chaplin. A typical English snub no less!
Excellent film, well acted and brilliantly directed.
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