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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
The Eye of the Storm (2011)

The Eye of the Storm (2011)

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Released 1-May-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 114:22 (Case: 119)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Fred Schepisi
Paperbark Films
Transmission Films
Starring Charlotte Rampling
Maria Theodorakis
Jamie Timony
Judy Davis
Bob Marcs
Alexandra Schepisi
John Gaden
Helen Morse
Robyn Nevin
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Paul Grabowsky

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In)
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     What a marvellous collection of local talent was involved in this production! This film was produced by Sydney based producers Gregory J Read and Antony Waddington, directed by Melbourne born Fred Schepsi, is based on a novel by a great Australian author, Patrick White with a screenplay written by Judy Morris and stars two of our best local actors, Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis. If that isn't enough the DOP is world-renowned local Ian Baker and the music is by local jazz composer Paul Grabowsky. If local talent is not enough there is also a lead role for British actress Charlotte Rampling and the addition of Branford Marsalis and his saxophone to the soundtrack.

     But enough hyperbole, what is this movie about and is it any good?

     Essentially this film and the novel it is based on are about family relationships and the challenges, tragedy, love and dislike involved. Elizabeth Hunter (Charlotte Rampling) is an old dying lady who lives in a grand house in one of Sydney's best suburbs in the early 1970s. She is dramatic, manipulative and overbearing as she has always been it would seem but now she is also suffering from delusions and slips into and out of reality. She is attended by a large staff including two nurses, gardeners, a cook, a cleaner and a driver. Her two children, who both live in Europe, are returning to be present if she passes away. The reasons they come home are complex and driven by love, greed and possibly an actual desire to see her. The two children are flamboyant actor and playwright, Sir Basil Hunter (Geoffrey Rush), who is based in London and Princess Dorothy de Lascabanes (Judy Morris) who had a failed marriage to a European prince and now struggles with money. One of the aims of Basil & Dorothy is to reduce the ongoing cost of running their mother's estate (in order to ensure their inheritance) by getting her to move to a nursing home. However, their relationships to each other and their mother are much more complex than this surface greed and the film explores these relationships and the events in the past which drive their relationships now.

     This is an excellent film, which despite being focused on the impending death of Elizabeth has many more elements than this. Many films in this subject area are dramatic and somewhat depressing however this film has excellent elements of comedy which make it entertaining as well as drama and a deep experience. It is this combination of elements that make this a superlative film. Obviously being based on a highly regarded novel helps but also the assured direction of Fred Schepsi, the marvellous acting by the three leads and excellent local supporting cast, combined with technical elements like the award winning production and costume design, the score and the marvellous photography make this an excellent cinematic experience.

     Highly Recommended.

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Transfer Quality


     The video quality is very good for SD.

     The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout. Shadow Detail was very good.

     The colour is very good highlighting the flashbacks to happier times and the costumes.

     Artefacts were limited to some minor aliasing.

     There are subtitles available in English for the Hearing Impaired. There are also burned-in subtitles for the French spoken.

     The layer change triggers a slight pause.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is very good for DVD.

     This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps along with an Audio Descriptive Track in Dolby Digital 2.0.

     Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand although the subtitles were occasionally useful. Front separation is a highlight on this film from an aural perspective.

     The music by Paul Grabowsky (featuring Branford Marsalis) is high quality and adds to the atmosphere of the film significantly.

     The surround speakers were used for mild atmosphere and a few direction effects.

     The subwoofer was used mostly to support the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     A couple of quality extras which is always better than loads of ordinary ones.


     The menu included music, scenes and allowed for scene selection.

Q&A with Geoffrey Rush & Fred Schepsi (24:25)

     A Q&A with a live audience at a film festival, hosted by an online journalist. There is excellent discussion between the two men and the audience covering topics like casting, adapting the novel, shooting and how they condensed the story to fit a film. Well worth watching.

Audio Commentary - Fred Schepsi

     A high quality audio commentary from the director. He is engaging and interesting, covering topics like the imagery he was trying to use, shooting challenges, casting, the novel and areas where the adaptation differs to the novel.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This film does not seem to be available in other regions at this time, which is their loss.


     An excellent Australian film.

     The video quality is very good.

     The audio quality is very good.

     The extras are quality rather than quantity.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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