Daughter, The (Blu-ray) (2015)
|Year Of Production||2015|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Simon Stone|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† Christian (Paul Schneider), after an absence of 15 or 16 years in the USA, returns to the small logging town in NSW where he grew up to attend the wedding of his father Henry (Geoffrey Rush) to his housekeeper Anna (Anna Torv), who is half his fatherís age. Henry has just announced the closure of the mill that had been in the family for a hundred years, putting the workers out of a job in a town that is already dying with abandoned factories and houses. One such worker out of a job is Christianís old best friend Oliver (Ewen Leslie). Oliver had showed promise at school which he never realised and now lives with his father Walter (Sam Neill), wife Charlotte (Miranda Otto) and intelligent teenaged daughter Helvig (Odessa Young), who is doing very well at school and for whom Oliver has high hopes.
†††† Oliver is happy to see Christian and the two renew their friendship. But it soon becomes clear that Christianís return to his fatherís house has unleashed memories about his motherís suicide in the house 16 years before that he finds hard to handle. Christian is also a recovering alcoholic, separated from his wife, and his emotional fragility, plus a toxic mixture of alcohol and drugs on the day of his fatherís wedding, means that Christian cannot help himself and reveals a secret about his fatherís past that devastates both his own and Oliverís families.
†††† The Daughter is an Australian film by writer / director Simon Stone that he adapted from Henrik Ibsenís play The Wild Duck. This is Stoneís first feature; he is better known as an actor having appeared, for example, in Kokoda: 39th Battalion (2006) and Balibo (2009). However, in 2011 Stone directed a well-received version of The Daughter at the Belvoir in Sydney, and this film version builds on that play.
†††† The result is a film which is stylish, intense and unrelenting. The cast is however top notch cast. Geoffrey Rush, Miranda Otto and Ewen Leslie are all solid and believable but the standouts are Sam Neill, who does crusty but honourable better than most these days, and Odessa Young who delivers a beautifully nuanced performance as Helvig. In a world of secrets, lies and deceit, it is the innocent who really suffer and while the slow pace and (mostly) repressed angst of the adults does tend to keep the audience at a bit of an arms-length from the tragedy being presented, Young allows us to feel every bit the confusion, fear and hurt of this intelligent and vulnerable teenaged girl.
†††† Ibsenís themes were seldom light-hearted and The Daughter follows this trend. But it has a good cast delivering the dialogue and beautiful locations (on the southern highlands of NSW), so except for a couple of scenes the film builds on its stage origins and succeeds in not feeling stagey or stilted. Yet, right from the beginning, there is an inevitability about the impending tragedy and you really donít have to know the source plays to work out what is going to happen. But that does not mean that the scenes towards the climax involving Helvig, the daughter of the title, donít have a massive emotional impact.
†††† The Daughter is presented in an 2.40:1 aspect ratio, in 1080p, using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
†††† The colour palate reflects the moods and themes of the film. This is a muted winter landscape of partially logged pine forests and ruined, deserted factories, where the sky is cloudy and grey, a colour reflected on the water of the lake. Henryís mansion is also large, dark and gloomy; the main sections of brightness and colour in the film occur during the scenes with Helvig at school, implying a brighter outlook and possible future. Otherwise, the print is clean and sharp, blacks and shadow detail are excellent, skin tones natural, contrast and brightness consistent and I noticed no marks or artefacts.
†††† English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available.
†††† The feature audio is English DTS-HD MA 5.1. Also available is an English audio description track (Dolby Digital 2.0) using a female voice.
†††† This is a film where dialogue is central so it is great that the dialogue is always clear and easy to understand. The surrounds and the rears were used sparingly for animal noises and music while the sub-woofer added bass mostly to the thunder and occasional gun shots. This is a low key audio track, but it is all that was required.
†††† The score by Mark Bradshaw keeps a nice balance and is effective without being intrusive.
††††Lip synchronisation was fine.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† There are no extras, not even trailers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
†††† The The Daughter has not yet been released in other regions.
†††† The Daughter is not easy viewing because it is intense and unrelenting and you can see where it is going whether you are familiar with the source material or not. But good dialogue and a stellar cast in fine form, especially Sam Neill and an impressive Odessa Young, means that the film is always compelling as it drives towards its tragic conclusion.
†††† The video and audio are good. Zero extras.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|