Laurel Canyon

Air Date: April 11, 2009

Francis McDormand in Laurel Canyon

Frances McDormand in Laurel Canyon


In Laurel Canyon, Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale play Sam and Alex, uptight medical students who move in with Sam’s free-spirited mother Jane, played by Frances McDormand (Fargo, Burn After Reading). Jane is a record producer, and though she seems like the polar opposite of her soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Alex slowly becomes attracted to the sex, drugs, and rock & roll that Jane and her flirtatious young boyfriend represent. In fact, her dalliance in Jane’s world threatens to tear her relationship with Sam apart.

Director: Lisa Cholodenko

California native Lisa Cholodenko didn’t became interested in filmmaking after working as an assistant at AFI in Los Angeles. It was just supposed to be a day job, but soon Cholodenko was moving to New York to get a filmmaking degree at Columbia. As she cut her first feature, High Art (1998), Cholodenko’s editor played her Joni Mitchell’s 1970 album “Ladies of the Canyon,” an album which provided the inspiration for Jane in Laurel Canyon.

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  • richard freund

    I wrote a song called “laurel from the canyon…!!

  • David S.

    I saw this when it came out, and though I don’t remember all the details, I remember it being GREAT!!! Frances McDormand was fabulous, and I’ll be staying up to see it again. I ENCOURAGE ANYONE WHO LIKES WEIRD, OFFBEAT, WELL-WRITTEN MOVIES WITH SUPERB ACTORS TO STAY UP AND WATCH THIS. (Sorry — got carried away. It’s real good.)

  • Bashi

    Who thinks what? Does Christain Batle’s character, Sam, come up for air: I hope so?

  • Sylvain

    Thought d whole film was interesting, but d end was a real mystery..a woman he’s attracted to (but wouldn’t get involved with cause he does love his girlfriend)….calls him 2 express her true feelings & he goes into some deep thoughts, cut d conversation short & does what really? become some superficial unfeeling being just like his mother? sorry..didn’t get d end!

  • Roy

    David S.: That’s all right. Films like this get underlooked due to the big, brainless blockbusters (I did enjoyed “Watchmen”, though, and I can’t wait for the director’s cut of it).