Trainspotting (1996)

DUH. I know most people have seen this, but there are a few stragglers who have not, and to those unfortunate latter folk: watch this film! I just watched it again last night, and every time I see it, which is not that often, I am reminded of what a perfect little storm this was: riveting source material (a filthy, yet fascinating literary examination of Edinburgh heroin addicts by author Irvine Welsh); director Danny Boyle (arguably at the apex of his creative career); actors Ewan MacGregor, Ewan Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly MacDonald; and a pulsing soundtrack including Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, New Order, Blur, Pulp, and Damon Albarn, to name a few. Mix all these ingredients into an impoverished Edinburgh in the early 1990s, add a little Thatcher era depression, and some materialistic cynicism, and you've got Trainspotting.

The cast of characters is now that of cult film legend: Macgregor as Mark Renton, a junkie who mostly wants to clean-up, find love, and lead a good life--whatever that is; Bremner as Spud, a scattered, frightened, but well-intention addict; Miller as Sickboy, who is the manipulative and scheming asshole of the group, one who "is lacking in moral fiber," though who knows a lot about Sean Connery; Carlyle as Frank Begbie, an alcoholic, psychopathic, bar-room brawler; and Kelly MacDonald as the pretty, but underaged Diane who Renton falls in love with.

This is the film that arguably launched Ewan MacGregor, as well as director Danny Boyle, into the world as an exciting Scottish actor and English filmmaker, respectively. This film is one of the most memorable in both of their careers, and is still such a treat to watch. If you have the stomach for it--including it's graphic depiction of drug use, drug withdrawal, sex, violence, and all manor of bodily fluids--I recommend you to see it!

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