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Bright Young Things

James McAvoy as Simon Balcairn
Directed by: Stephen Fry
Written By: Evelyn Waugh (novel), Stephen Fry (screenplay)
Release: 3 October 2003 (UK)
Genre: Drama | Comedy | War
Co-Stars: Stephen Campbell Moore, Emily Mortimer, Dan Aykroyd

Adapted from Evelyn Waugh’s novel ‘Vile Bodies’, Bright Young Things is the directorial debut for Stephen Fry and follows the lives of a novelist, Adam and his would-be lover, Nina as they mix with the ‘bright young things’ who inhabit the upper echelons of fashionable London. As his friends look for newer more dangerous sensations they crash and burn one-by-one.


“Bright Young Things” was the working title of “Vile Bodies”, the book upon which the film is based.


Simon Balcairn: [Telling his fake news story] The most shocking orgy since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah rocked society last night.
Typist: Hold the presses, get down to compositing. Now.
Simon Balcairn: The vulgar evangelist, Mrs. Melrose Ape, proudly revealed that her angels were no more than underage adornments on sale to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, tears coursing down her face, the honorable Agatha… whose repulsive liason with the Prime Minister shocked the nation this week, bewailed her, quote: “Ruined, bogus, vapid, bogus, and worthless life,” unquote. Yes, two boguses. Lady Maitland, shrieking of her terrible dependence upon cocaine powder, threw off her Schiaparelli ball gown and stood naked upon the dance floor, an example quickly followed by old and young alike until only the servants remained clothed. And grotesquely hairy Archie Schwert, swinging naked from the chandelier, screamed that all his money derived from prostitution and the opium trade. Lady Maitland’s son Miles howled and howled and confessed to an intimate beastliness involving five guardsmen of the royal household, two marines, and a brick layer from Hattersfield. Nina Blount… Nina Blount grasped her stomach, screamed she was a whore, and misquoted several lines of Lady MacBeth whilst Adam Fenwick-Symes cried on heaven to bear witness to his talentless penury and hopeless illiteracy.

Simon Balcairn: [Telling his fake news story] Never, never, never have such scenes been witnessed in high society, that uneasy alliance between bright young things and old survivors. Perhaps this was the defining moment of our epoch of speed and syncopation. This so-called 20th century of angst, neurosis and panic. Reader be glad that you have nothing to do with this world. Its glamour is a delusion, its speed a snare, its music a scream of fear. Faster and faster they swirl, sickening themselves with every turn. The faster the ride, the greater the nausea, the terror, and the shame. Stop. Yes, that’s it. Good night.