Metropolitan delighted audiences in 1990 and today returns as fresh and timely as ever. Tom Townsend is middle-class and a Princeton student, He is also a follower of Charles Fourier’s socialist theories. He attends a dress ball one evening and after a taxi mix up is invited to a small group of young Upper East Side socialites party. The group are known as Sally Fowlers Rat Pack, gaining the name for the apartment they use for after-hours parties. This one act of kindness leads to Tom social climb and personal development.
Whit Stillman’s METROPOLITAN enters the world of New York Nouvelle Riche or UHB (Urban Haute Bourgeois a term which sadly never caught on). Its by turns satirical and sardonic but like the best films on that great city, it also seems deeply affectionate toward it. In love with its myriad events and social structures. Stillman’s screenplay pivots on incidents of coming of age and coming of social status and is infused with comedic capturing of political dialogues or faux intellectual protestations imaged and believed. The whole comes together by making you journey inside the world of people that are equally vapid and interesting. Stillman’s dry wit flicks ideas about like casual thoughts but without cheapening character or content. Each cut introduces another t This underscores the situations with tenderness and pathos (as well as laugh out loud machinations.) Exceptional restrained direction allows scenes to develop without burden or feeling false.
The disc resonates the tender loveliness of the creators eye. Whit restores a light balance and colour palette of the period with every scene glowing with gentle warmth. It transcends mere words. The magic piece of the set bar the film and its exceptional transfer is the commentary. Swimming with detail about the making and inspiration, it fits perfectly. Watching the film becomes a new experience with Stillman and Eigeman bring joyful notes of the location shoots and the experience of dialogue so subtle, yet so on the money.
- Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Whit Stillman and cinematographer John Thomas, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- Audio commentary by Stillman, editor Christopher Tellefsen, and actors Chris Eigeman and Taylor Nichols
- Rare outtakes and alternate casting, with commentary by Stillman
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Luc Sante