Cinema: Family Values

Who needs sex, drugs or rock 'n' roll when you can have Emily Watson?

He has it all: "creative" job, sensible wife, pretty child, starter home in Metroland, the generic name for London's middle-class suburbia. Chris (Christian Bale) also has something he doesn't need: his best friend from the swinging '60s, a wandering poet named Toni (Lee Ross), who lurches back into his life in the late '70s to taunt and tempt him. The taunts are about the road not taken--abandoned career in photography, abandoned girlfriend (sweet, sexy Elsa Zylberstein) from his years in Paris. The temptation is to return to youthful irresponsibility.

Uh-oh--another wistful study of quiet desperation among the symbol manipulators, another...

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