The Adventures of Sebastian Cole

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The Adventures of Sebastian Cole
The Adventures of Sebastian Cole DVD.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Tod Williams
Produced by Karen Barber
Jasmine Kosovic
Written by Tod Williams
Music by Elizabeth Swados
Cinematography John Foster
Edited by Alfonso Gonçalves
Culpan Productions LLC
Distributed by Paramount Classics
Release date
  • January 23, 1999 (1999-01-23) (Sundance)
  • August 6, 1999 (1999-08-06)
Running time
96 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $100,841[2]

The Adventures of Sebastian Cole is a 1998 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Tod Williams and starring Adrian Grenier as the title character.


In June 1983, in Dutchess County, New York, Sebastian Cole joins his mother, stepfather, and sister for dinner where Hank, Sebastian's stepfather, drops a bomb: he announces that he is having a sex change operation. Sebastian's sister, Jessica, leaves immediately for California, and his mother, Joan, takes him back to England. Eight months later, Sebastian is back in New York, knocking on Hank's door. Hank (now Henrietta) takes Sebastian in and supports him over the next few months of high school. Sebastian's "adventures" are mostly self-destructive.



The film received mixed to negative reviews; it currently holds a 43% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[3] The movie critic Roger Ebert gave the movie three out of four stars, noting that the film avoids easy cliche in favour of a more thoughtful approach to the subject matter. He gave particular praise to Clark Gregg saying that, whilst one is never in doubt about his gender because of his physical appearance, "in his heart he knows he is a woman, and he is true to that inner conviction with a courage that the movie doesn't need to underline, because it permeates the performance".[4] Stephen Holden of the New York Times praised Adam Greiner's performance feeling that it "beautifully captures his character's precarious balance of naivete and bravado, self-destructiveness and self-invention".[5] Writing in Variety, Joe Leydon believed that the scenes between Gregg and Grenier were the strongest (although he felt that Gregg's portrayal came close to caricature). He was critical of the technical aspects of the film's production, felt that other films had covered similar ground better and that the ending was poorly conceived and too abrupt. He predicted that the film would perform poorly with critics and at the box office.[6] Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman gave the film a "B" rating, adding that he wished it had been better structured, although the current configuration was "integral" to its "charm".[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "THE ADVENTURES OF SEBASTIAN COLE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2000-06-07. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  2. ^ The Adventures of Sebastian Cole at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ The Adventures of Sebastian Cole at Rotten Tomatoes
  4. ^ Roger Ebert (1999-08-20). "The Adventures of Sebastian Cole". Retrieved 2016-06-22. 
  5. ^ Holden, Stephen (1999-08-06). "'The Adventures of Sebastian Cole': When a Boy's Stepdad Is the Best Mother of All". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-22. 
  6. ^ Leydon, Joe (1999-09-18). "Review: ‘The Adventures of Sebastian Cole’". Variety. Retrieved 2016-06-22. 
  7. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (1999-08-13). "The Adventures of Sebastian Cole". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2016-06-22. 

External links[edit]