The Californians

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The Californians
DVD cover of The Californians.jpg
Directed by Jonathan Parker
Produced by Scott M. Rosenfelt
Catherine DiNapoli
Written by Henry James
Catherine DiNapoli
Jonathan Parker
Starring Noah Wyle
Illeana Douglas
Kate Mara
Cloris Leachman
Music by Neils Bye Nielsen
Cinematography Steven Fierberg
Edited by Rick LeCompte
Distributed by Fabrication Films
Release dates
  • October 21, 2005 (2005-10-21)
Running time
87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $500,000

The Californians is a 2005 independent drama film from Hart Sharp Films starring Noah Wyle. It is a modern-day adaptation of the 1886 Henry James novel The Bostonians, with the location moved from Boston to Marin County, California, and with the political topic driving the plot changed from feminism to environmentalism. The Californians is the second film adaptation of The Bostonians, after the 1984 film The Bostonians.


Gavin Ransom (Noah Wyle) is a successful real estate developer who has made a tidy fortune putting up gated communities filled with expensive suburban homes all over California. Ransom intends to put up another such development in the as-yet-untouched hillsides of Northern California's Marin County, and, just as he's expected, a number of folks living nearby are objecting to the project, including his sister Olive (Illeana Douglas), an environmental activist who has sided with longtime resident Eileen Boatwright (Cloris Leachman) and progressive lawyer Sybil (Jane Lynch) against the development. Olive and her compatriots get some unexpected support when Zoe Tripp (Kate Mara), a modern folk singer and the daughter of old-school Marin County hippies (Keith Carradine and Valerie Perrine), takes an interest in their protests and begins singing out against Gavin's proposal with guitar in hand. Gavin unexpectedly finds himself growing powerfully infatuated with Zoe, and Olive, a long-closeted lesbian, is equally taken with her; consequently, as the siblings battle against building several dozen cookie-cutter mansions, they also wage a private war for the affections of the young songstress.


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