Sky (2015)

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Released 24-May-2017

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 98:22 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Fabienne Berthaud
Studio
Distributor
Gryphon Entertainment Starring Diane Kruger
Norman Reedus
Gilles Lellouche
Laurene Landon
Trevor Peterson
Lena Dunham
Q’orianka Kilcher


Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Francois-Eudes Chanfrault


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Romy (Diane Kruger) and her husband Richard (Gilles Lellouche) are a French couple from Paris vacationing in America. They have been married for eight years but are not getting on; during a fight Romy hits her husband over the head with a lamp and walks out into the desert of the American south-west. She hitches a ride to Las Vegas where in a casino she meets Diego (Norman Reedus) who things she is a prostitute; indeed, he tells her that he only has sex with prostitutes as that makes his life less complicated. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Romy is interested and follows Diego to his house in the desert where he works as a Park Ranger. She starts to settle in; she meets his brother (Trevor Peterson) and sister-in-law (Lena Dunham) and their kids, gets a job as a waitress and admits to Diego that she is in love with him. However Diego has his own reasons for being wary of love and commitment.

     Sky was co-written and directed by Frenchwoman Fabienne Berthaud, with a French cinematographer (Nathalie Durand) and French composer (Francois-Eudes Chanfrault) so the film is very much an outsider’s view at America. It is, however, a very positive look at America and its people as Romy on her journeys experiences nothing but kindness and compassion from strangers she meets along the way including a Police Officer, a truck driver (played in a very short cameo by Lou Diamond Phillips, an LA showgirl (Laurene Landon), a bartender and an American Indian woman (Q’orianka Kilcher) and her grandmother, who gives Romy the name Sky. But, with the exception of the Norman Reedus character and possibly Gilles Lellouche as her boorish husband, none of the others get any screen time and are just sidelines to Romy’s quest.

     As such, the film depends totally on the performance of Diane Kruger who is never off screen. Fabienne Berthaud has only directed three feature films (Frankie (2005) and Lily Sometimes (2010)) before Sky and they all star Kruger so there is obviously a bond between them. Although many will remember Kruger’s wooden performance in Troy (2004), where to be fair she was not alone in that, she has improved with age and I did enjoy her performance in Special Forces (2011) when I reviewed that film on this site. She is okay in Sky, although she seemed at a remote from the material, a distance making it hard to sympathise with what she is going through in contrast to Lena Dunham who, in only a couple of scenes, is beautifully warm and human and fully engages us. (2013). Norman Reedus, taking time off from The Walking Dead, is fine in what feels an underwritten role.

     Sky is episodic and melodramatic but the desert landscapes are beautiful and the film is a refreshing look at an American south-west where people are kind and considerate and a single, good-looking foreign woman is able to search for meaning in her life, and the possibility of love, without any problems from the locals, unlike the scenario in many US made films. Maybe it takes a foreigner to show a different America, one where people are kind and hope for good life is still possible.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Sky is presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

     Close-up detail is fine, including Kruger’s long blonde hair. Colours in exteriors are bright and glossy, with some spectacular sunrises. Interiors colours are more dull and murky with some indistinctness in shadow detail. Blacks are fine, skin tones natural, contrast and brightness consistent. Marks and artefacts were absent.

    The layer change at 49:40 created a pause in the middle of a sex scene and so was noticeable.

     English subtitles are available but they only translate the sections of French dialogue, not the English. They can be removed.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 at a low 192 Kbps although it is surround encoded.

     This is not an action film so the audio we get is fine. Dialogue is clear and the effects, such as engines, and the score were nicely rendered. The original score by Francois-Eudes Chanfrault effectively supported the visuals.

     Lip synchronisation seemed fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Theatrical Trailer (1:30)

R4 vs R1

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

     The US Region 1 release of Sky is NTSC and also has only the trailer as an extra but it does add Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and English and Spanish subtitles. Given that this is not an action film, our Dolby Digital 2.0 is perfectly adequate, but the availability of subtitles may give the US release the edge for some.

Summary

     Sky is episodic and melodramatic, leaving little room to develop any character other than that played by Diane Kruger, whose performance feels too distant to elicit our sympathy. However, Sky has its moments; it is a positive film replete with good, compassionate people and beautiful landscapes while the ending is an affirmation of life.

     The video and audio are fine, the film’s trailer is the only extra.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, June 12, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 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 DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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