Starring: Kristin Scott Thomas
Director: Philippe Claudel
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics 30165 [Release date: Mar. 3, 09]
Video: 1.85 adjusted for 16:9 color, 1080p HD
Audio: French or English DD TrueHD 5.1
Extras: Deleted scenes with optional commentary by the director, English language version with voice of Kristin Scott Thomas, BD Live
Length: 117 minutes
This French film was to me rather depressing, but a perfect acting job for bilingual Kristin Scott Thomas. She portrays a haunted, cutoff woman – a former doctor – who is now little of her former self after 15 years in prison for killing her six-year-old son. She comes to live with her younger sister who had been brought up to never mention her again. The sisters’ relationship goes thru many rocky periods as they get closer to one another and the younger sister finally unravels the truth behind the unspeakable event.
This is a completely gripping drama and the slow blossoming of the Thomas character is beautifully handled by both the actress and filmmaker. The supporting cast are also excellent. It’s understandable why this excellent film was a winner at the Berlin Film Festival. The Blu-ray transfer looks great, though the nature of the film doesn’t call for much use of the surrounds. I thought it interesting that the PG-13 notice at the beginning of this French film listed a warning that the film included “smoking.” One has to plod thru a bunch of previews before you are allowed to see the feature. Perhaps when I upgrade to a newer-gen Blu-ray player it will be easier to skip over the increasing number of previews stored on Blu-ray releases lately.
– John Sunier