cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

The Man From Elysian Fields

Starring Andy Garcia, Mick Jagger, Julianna Margulies, Olivia Williams, Angelica Huston and James Coburn
Screenplay by Philip Jayson Lasker
Directed by George Hickenlooper

IN SHORT: Best indie of the year, so far. [Rated R for language and sexual content. 105 minutes]

Mick Jagger's a whore. (two three four)

We sit through arthouse-targeted movies looking for the ones with any kind of potential of rising out of that circuit. We don't often find 'em but, once in a while we get a film like The Man From Elysian Fields, which delivers what you pay for, a couple of good stories fleshed out by a number of wonderful performances. It also features the first film performance by Mick Jagger in more years than we have fingers with which to count. We almost hate to lay out the basics of the story because, in black and white, the "basics" don't appear to be all that pleasant. So, parents, send the kids to a different page and we'll drop down into the world of male escorts. You'll be glad you did. Really.

The star of the show is Andy Garcia (click for StarTalk) as Byron Tiller, struggling writer of important novels. Tiller's first novel was hailed by the critics. His second novel, about migrant workers, is a hunk of unmarketable crap. His publisher puts it in more colorful terms but you get the picture. Byron has a beautiful wife, Dena (Julianna Margulies), who works at a store selling used Lp's and baby boy named after famed writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. As he pounds away at his word processor, in a seedy rented office, all thoughts turn to the fact that his bank account balance is falling fast; his wealthy father-in-law (who hates him) won't help out with a loan and that the men coming out of the Elysian Fields, Inc. office across the hall are sporting suits expensive enough to cover his monthly house and car payments, combined.

Byron is cursed by a problem common to many writers. He can only put his emotions into words with a nice typeface. Dena knows there are problems but ,when the new book is killed, Byron maintains the facade of success. The book will be published, but with an "uncertain" release date, he tells her. In the meantime, he attempts to repair the bridges he burned when he left his former profession as a writer of advertising copy. What happens there is a great example of why you shouldn't burn your own bridges . . .

Drowning his sorrows in the local bar, Byron is approached by Luther Fox, proprietor of Elysian Fields, a smooth talking devil in a silk suit who lends a sympathetic ear to the writer. Fox, appropriately named and a perfectly cast Mick Jagger, offers a proposition to the man, to join the staff of his company and provide "lonely women in need of emotional and spiritual solace" with "company". Byron flat out refuses, but the fox has laid his trap. "All right, but no sex" comes next and soon Byron has got a rack of suits with his name on it and the advice of fellow escort Greg (ex-rocker Michael Des Barres) to rely on.

That no-sex date is with Andrea Alcott (Olivia Williams), wife of dying diabetic author Tobias Alcott (James Coburn) who encourages his wife's dalliances. One no-sex date ends with the eating of biscotti. Another ends with the eating of something quite different and soon Byron is rolling in cash as co-writer of Tobias' next novel. Not to mention the sheets he's rolling in by now, as well. Dena knows of the book deal but not the rest. Still, her marriage begins to crumble from all the hours Byron puts out, sorry, puts in to his new job(s). He is, after all, doing it all for his family. This devotion inspires boss Luthor, who desires to move a long time "relationship" with one Jennifer Adler (Angelica Huston), wife of an unseen and fabulously wealthy man, to another level.

The Man From Elysian Fields is not about sex. It's about love or the lack of it or what you will do for it. It's a film filled with great performances and clearly told stories that is far and beyond the usual indulgent drek found on the arthouse circuit.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Man From Elysian Fields, he would have paid . . .


Lots of stories here. Lots of consequences. All of handled terrifically. Seek it out.

amazon com link Click to buy films starring Andy Garcia
Click to buy films starring Anjelica Huston
Click to buy music by Mick Jagger or Rolling Stones
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.