Lovely & Amazing (2001)

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Released 18-Aug-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 87:18
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Nicole Holofcener
Studio
Distributor
Blow Up Pictures
Magna Home Entertainment
Starring Catherine Keener
Brenda Blethyn
Emily Mortimer
Jake Gyllenhaal
James LeGros
Dermot Mulroney
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Craig Richey


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Lovely & Amazing is an interesting drama about a woman and her three daughters, their vanity, self-esteem, their relationships with men, but most of all how they cope with life.

    Jane Marks (Brenda Blethyn) has three daughters. Two grown up ones - Michelle (Catherine Keener) and Elizabeth (Emily Mortimer) - and the third an adopted black child called Annie (Raven Goodwin). As the film starts, we discover Jane is about to undergo liposuction surgery to try and look skinnier.

    Michelle was the homecoming queen in high school, but as a married mother is struggling to make a meaningful impact in society. She makes decorative little chairs, but struggles to find a shop willing to sell them. Her husband clearly doesn't respect her any more, much less love her.

    Elizabeth is a struggling actress who has recently played a bit role in a film. In her spare time, she collects and gives shelter to stray dogs. She is perennially questioning her looks and beauty, and her boyfriend thinks she is too "high maintenance."

    Annie is the youngest and has her share of insecurities and neuroses. She is sensitive about her skin colour and wishes she was white, plus has a tendency to over-eat. She loves playing "dead" in swimming pools to try and attract attention.

    The film meanders around their lives. Just when you think the film doesn't have a plot, it kind of ties everything together in a loose sort of way. Jane develops an infection after surgery, and we wonder whether she will survive. Each of the daughters handles the news in her own special way, with some interesting consequences.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a widescreen 16x9 enhanced transfer, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The film was originally shot onto high definition video, so presumably this is the intended aspect ratio. The film was transferred on to 35mm film for theatrical release.

    The transfer must have been taken from the high definition master, for it is extremely clean and free of artefacts.

    Although looking ever so slightly on the soft side, detail levels are good and colours are well presented, though a bit understated.

    I noticed some very light low level video noise, particularly in bright backgrounds. Other than that, I did not notice any artefacts.

    Unfortunately, there are no subtitle tracks. This is a single sided single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There are two audio tracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s).

    Both tracks are very similar in terms of quality and fidelity. Both sounded okay to my ears, but not striking.

    This is a very dialogue focused film, so don't expect any significant use of speakers other than the centre channel. In fact, the only time I noticed the stereo soundstage was for music, and I never really noticed anything coming from the rear speakers. The subwoofer remained inactive throughout the film.

    Dialogue was crystal clear throughout and I did not notice any issues with audio synchronization.

    The original music score is by Craig Richey and sounds vaguely bluegrass or folksy.

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

Extras

    The only extra is a theatrical trailer.

Menu

    The menus are 16x9 enhanced and include background audio.

Theatrical Trailer (2:08)

    This is presented in 1.85:1 letterboxed (not 16x9 enhanced) and with Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) audio.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:

    There is no compelling reason to prefer one version over the other.

Summary

    Lovely & Amazing is an interesting drama about a mother and her three daughters.

    The video transfer quality is good.

    The audio transfer quality is acceptable.

    The only extra is a theatrical trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Saturday, October 04, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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