United Kingdom, 1996, 94 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Classic, Cult, Drama
Language: English

It’s hard to believe nearly 15 years have passed since director Danny Boyle burst onto the filmmaking scene with his gonzo adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s cult novel (brilliantly adapted by frequent Boyle collaborator John Hodge), fostering an amazing performance by a then-unknown actor named Ewan McGregor. Boyle and McGregor had teamed up on the amazingly tight, pitch-black thriller Shallow Grave just two years prior, but it was with Trainspotting that they left an indelible imprint with their modern classic.

Boyle follows the misadventures of feisty young punk Renton (McGregor), whose days in the musty slums of Edinburgh become numbered when he decides to try and kick a heroin habit—despite the fact that he doesn’t know who he is if not an addict. Of course, sobriety has some side effects of its own—felt equally by his close-knit pack of friends, played with gusto by up-and-coming actors Jonny Lee Miller, Kelly Macdonald, Ewan Bremner and the wonderfully acidic Robert Carlyle. They’re all fine and dandy living the low life, so why does Renton have to go and suss it all up?

Incorporating a perfect soundtrack that sets the mood no less thoroughly than that of Pulp Fiction, Boyle created some of the most memorable moments in cult cinema (Renton’s dive into a filthy toilet comes to mind) and helped capture the imagination of a disillusioned generation in dire need of an antihero. He gave them that and more in a movie with its own lust for life.
—Keith Garcia

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DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle
Producer: Andrew MacDonald
Editor: Masahiro Hirakubo
Screenwriter: John Hodge
Cinematographer: Brian Tufano
Principal Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald, Robert Carlyle

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