Tilda Swinton is superb as Ella, the married woman that Joe has the torrid affair with right under her husband's nose. But he can never quite put the past behind him, least of all the death of his former girlfriend, a fresh-cheeked, middle-class student from Edinburgh, Cathie Emily Mortimer , who supported him financially for a long time while he sat in front of a typewriter trying to write the bold, uncompromising fiction that he hopes will shock society. Flashbacks also reveal some of Joe's past and how he ended up working on a barge. Perhaps they were put off by Trocchi's reputation: All the artistry in the world couldn't fill the gaps in the plot here to hold your attention. As he and the Captain of the barge pull the body from the water, it is intimated that perhaps Joe has a connection to her. But I feel 'Young Adam' is different. And while you can easily fill many pages of a novel with descriptive passages and the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters, these are much more difficult things to convey in the visual medium of film. Young Adam runs just over an hour and a half but watching it feels more like two hours. That the film refuses to prod us into easy emotional responses is one of its great and very unusual strengths. The most creative sex scene is when Joe throws custard and condiments on a naked Cathie before doing her doggie. Not for him the politics of Red Clydeside. When the plot does move, there are some great performances to move it. Young Adam features some very talented actors and an intriguing premise. The board usually watches three to four movies per day. Just what do all of these ladies see in him?