Shopgirl (2005)

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Released 23-May-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Trailer-Ice Age 2, The Family Stone, Walk The Line, Date Movie
Web Links
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 102:09
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Anand Tucker
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Steve Martin
Claire Danes
Jason Schwartzman
Bridgette Wilson
Sam Bottoms
Frances Conroy
Rebecca Pidgeon
Samantha Shelton
Gina Doctor
Clyde Kusatsu
Romy Rosemont
Joshua Snyder
Rachel Nichols
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Barrington Pheloung


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
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 for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

Steve Martin, like many comedians before him, is a multi talented man and in Shopgirl (2005), Martin sets up an intimate tale between two people of opposite worlds. Based on his novella of the same name, the film is narrated by Martin, not as a character but as a voice who introduces us to a fairytale world of Los Angeles where the oddly but beautifully named Mirabelle Buttersfield (Claire Danes) sets out to live her dream as an artist. Mirabelle instead became lost in the big city and is now the glove saleswoman in the glamorous top level of the luxurious Saks department store. Every day our heroine is surrounded by wealth and glamour but as we follow her through her life we realize she is confined to a small degrading apartment in which the only other inhabitant is an absent cat and she needs antidepressants to face each waking day. Nevertheless she meets Jeremy Kraft (an illuminating Jason Schwartzman) who tells Mirabelle he is an okay guy. Despite the obvious differences between the two, she who is looking for companionship and he who is looking for any type of connection, they go on one unsuccessful date. He later that night claims to love Mirabelle; she in turn hopes never to see him again. Jeremy, spurred on by one of Mirabelle’s encouraging comments, decides to set out to do 'something' and he leaves LA.

Mirabelle on one of her usual days is approached by the nervous Ray Porter (Steve Martin) who buys a pair of glamorous gloves from her. He later sends the same gloves to her as a gift and asks if she would attend a date with him. She accepts and the two begin a relationship despite their age difference. Mirabelle begins to feel happiness; she smiles, looks after herself and enjoys her time with Porter who showers her with exquisite gifts. Everything she ever wanted in a relationship seems to be through the intellectual, emotional and physical relationship with Porter but then Mirabelle begins to have doubts and begins an emotional downward spiral caused by an honest revelation by Porter. At the same time Jeremy returns, a new man who wants to dedicate his life to Mirabelle even if it is as a friend. Mirabelle is left at a crossroads between the two men - one who can offer her everything while the other offers devotion, and both offer love in their own ways. Mirabelle is forced to make a choice which she delicately sums up as “So, I can hurt now, or hurt later.”

Claire Danes is phenomenal in the role of Mirabelle. She brings warmth to this detached character. Martin is equally excellent as Porter, a man I imagine to be a shade of the real Martin. Schwartzman always provides a whimsical eccentricity to his on-screen characters and Kraft is equally one of a kind, but many critics found the character nothing more than comic relief. I cannot agree with this as I think his character is necessary to help us understand Mirabelle’s isolated existence and the indifference she feels. Shopgirl (2005) is intimate as it is focused on 3 or so locations and the film is directed by Anand Tucker who lets us get inside the head of Mirabelle with complete focus on her expressions through the excellent use of slow motion. Shopgirl (2005) is a commendable film, it is not a romantic comedy but rather a whimsical tale of a woman torn between two very different men. It is intimate and driven by excellent performances by the cast and draws parallels with Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation (2003).

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Transfer Quality

Video

The flawless transfer in presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. There is no indication of colour bleeding or MPEG compression artefacting. Instead, the picture is clean, clear and the colour is excellent. Shadow detail is also commendable. Flesh tones are excellent and the film is encoded at an average bitrate of 6.58 Mpbs. Subtitles are true to the on-screen dialogue.

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

Audio

The English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is also commendable and is an encompassing experience. The dialogue is crisp and audible and while the soundtrack is not an intrusive bass-laden one, it pleasantly accompanies the languid serene mood of the film. The melancholy soundtrack is composed by Barrington Pheloung with the use of songs from Mark Kozelek.

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

Extras

Trailer

Ice Age 2, The Family Stone, Walk The Line, Date Movie

Web Links

R4 vs R1

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

The R1 release includes:

Summary

Shopgirl is an admirable film filled with excellent performances and direction. The film is very well presented but the bare-bones disc is a disappointment.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1910, using DVI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

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