Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)

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Released 3-May-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Interviews-Crew-Miranda July (Director/Actor)
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 97:34
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Miranda July
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring John Hawkes
Miranda July
Miles Thompson
Brandon Ratcliff
Carlie Westerman
Natasha Slayton
Najarra Townsend
Hector Elias
Tracy Wright
JoNell Kennedy
Brad William Henke
Ellen Geer
Colette Kilroy
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Ryeland Allison
Michael Andrews


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    On just a few rare occasions certain films manage to make it around my solid and cynical defenses so that I find myself enjoying a film that can be described largely as "sweet" - or maybe even "touching" - when I'm really off-guard. Miranda July's 2005 feature debut, Me and You and Everyone We Know, managed just such a sneaky feat. Perhaps being one of only a scattered few in the cinema had something to do with it; or maybe sending my partner off to the Philippines earlier that day opened me up just a little to the alienation and loneliness of July's characters. Who knows? Whatever the case, it's been a long while since I've walked out of a movie feeling refreshed and positive as I did after seeing Me and You and Everyone We Know.

    July engages with the somewhat clichéd issue of connecting with other human beings in our (post)modern world of speed, efficiency, and widespread indifference. She populates her film with lost and lonely adults, desperately trying to ground themselves, all the while surrounded by children with a far greater grasp on what matters in life. Richard Swersey (John Hawkes) sets his hand on fire as he separates from his wife and his two sons watch with indifference. Christine (Miranda July) tries to find someone interested in her video art while driving her elderly friends in her "Elder Cab." Richard's work colleague writes dirty notes to a pair of teenage girls who rope Richard's son Peter (Miles Thompson) into their sexual experimentation. Peter's younger brother Robby (Brandon Ratcliffe in the film's standout performance) is innocently caught up in an intimate online romance, while the boy's neighbour Sylvie (Carlie Westerman) scrimps and saves to put together a stunning dowry of electric goods, linen, and home-wares. As each of the characters meet and collide, Richard and Christine struggle to come together, misinterpreting each other's signals over and again.

    From the description above you might be forgiven for thinking "same-old, same-old": we've seen this sort of ensemble storytelling before (Short Cuts, Magnolia, and their like). In that sense, it's difficult to deny that Me and You and Everyone We Know is derivative in some ways. But - and a big but - July brings something fresh to the genre in the form of a positive vibe. As much as life tumbles rapidly onward, creating its lonely outcasts, there are always moments of brief beauty and connection that make it all worth it. A brush of hands, a new encounter, early morning sounds, taking risks, hymns and macaroni are just some of the small things that make modern life all worth it for July's characters.

    I imagine that repeat viewings of Me and You and Everyone We Know will bring back the cynic in me. At the moment though, I'd recommend it without hesitation. July's direction is assured and the actors are uniformly excellent. Some of the sexual situations involving children could be considered disturbing when taken out of context, but these scenes are handled subtly and thoughtfully: don't be put off by the OFLC's rating advice. I, at least, am looking forward to much more from Miranda July: she's already hit the ground running.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer is generally very good. Me and You and Everyone We Know is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness and shadow detail are excellent throughout. I noticed only some minor instances of low level noise. Contrast appears a little boosted, with a little in the way of edge enhancement. Colours are solid and well saturated: blue in the sky in particular looks good. Blacks are also solid and deep.

    There are practically no artefacts - of any kind - in this transfer. Computer screens show some moire effect and very mild aliasing is visible at times. Some colour banding and pixelization is also visible at rare moments. Otherwise, the transfer is spotless.

    No subtitles are included.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is also very good. Two audio tracks are included: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (surround encoded) and Dolby Digital 5.1. I listened to both. I preferred the 2.0 track which somehow sounded just a little more full than the 5.1.

    I noticed no issues with dialogue quality: everything was clear and audible. Audio sync is also accurate.

    Michael Andrews composed the "quirky" score. He uses largely electronic sounds and although the music has a life of its own, it blends seamlessly with the film's action and intent.

    The film is primarily focused on dialogue and surround activity is limited for the most part to music. "Limited" is probably a poor choice of words, though: the score is very active in all speakers. Ambient effects also make an appearance in the surrounds. The noise of crickets chirping is particularly well done. The music calls on the subwoofer for some support. As I mentioned earlier, the 5.1 track sounds a little thin, but both tracks are well transferred.

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

Extras

Interviews-Crew

    An Interview with Miranda July (27:53) - Miranda July goes into a good deal of detail describing the film's development, her own performance art and its influence on the film, the Sundance Lab, and pulling the film together. I'm not sure I enjoy listening to her, but she does relate some interesting facts.

Interviews-Cast & Crew

    (19:17) - Brief video clips from most of the players. Some of it is a little pretentious and "pats on the back all around" kind of stuff. Most of the actors seem to have played themselves - which works to the film's benefit.

Featurette-Behind The Scenes

     (7:32) - A camera roams around set catching the cast and crew at work. July seems a little out of her depth, but she pulled it all together in the end.

Theatrical Trailer

    (2:37)

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 release appears to be a direct port from the Region 2 Optimum release. Either release is preferable to the Region 1 release which includes only 5.1 audio and none of the extra features. It does include several deleted scenes and trailers. DVDBeaver's comparisons suggest that the Region 2/4 release has a slightly better video transfer. Go for the local version.

Summary

    Me and You and Everyone We Know will either leaving you feeling positive or sharpen your cynicism further than you thought possible. I belong in the first group and readily recommend the film.

    Audio and video are transferred cleanly.

    Extras are good and informative, but not essential viewing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Atkinson (read my bio)
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S336, using Component output
DisplayLG Flatron Widescreen RT-28FZ85RX. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationYamaha RX-V357
SpeakersDB Dynamics Belmont Series: Fronts: B50F, Centre: B50C, Rears: B50S, Sub: SW8BR

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