He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not (À la folie... pas du tout) (2002)

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Released 2-Mar-2009

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 91:02 (Case: 96)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Laetitia Colombani
Studio
Distributor

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Audrey Tautou
Samuel Le Bihan
Isabelle Carré
Clément Sibony
Sophie Guillemin
Eric Savin
Michèle Garay
Élodie Navarre
Catherine Cyler
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Jérôme Coullet


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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 English (Burned In) Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    

    One of the great things about reviewing DVDs is that it gives me the chance to try things that I know very little about. I enjoy French films and when the opportunity arose to review this little known French thriller from 2002, I thought I would give it a try. It was released in Region 1 on DVD back in 2003 but has not previously been available locally. Umbrella have now released it on their World Cinema DVD sub-label which is good news for local French film fans. I recently reviewed a box set from Madman called New French Cinema - Thrillers which this film would have fitted nicely into. That set included three quality thrillers which were all very different in style despite their common Gallic background. This film is different again, which highlights the lack of strict formulas in French film making especially when compared to Hollywood. Vive la France!

    It is best to know very little about this film before you sit down to watch it. I would even recommend against even reading the back cover of the disc or watching the trailer. Accordingly I will only give you a little of the basic setup for the film rather than spoil it. A young woman, Angelique (Audrey Tautou) is in love with a married man, Loic (Samuel Le Bihan), a cardiologist. She is an artist who loves to draw him and give him little gifts. She wants him to leave his wife and is convinced that he will. Meanwhile, a young medical student, David (Clement Sibony) is in love with her and struggles to understand why she is so caught up with Loic. Suffice it to say that what follows this basic setup is an intriguing and well constructed thriller which is well worth viewing.

    Tautou is very good in quite a different role for her. This film followed quite closely after her breakthrough role in Amelie. This is quite an impressive debut feature for writer/director Laetitia Colombani, who puts together an intriguing premise and an interesting structure. The French title of this film is A la folie...pas du tout but it is being released here as He Loves Me...He Loves Me Not which is certainly not a direct translation.

    I enjoyed this little thriller and would recommend it to those who enjoy French cinema especially thrillers or appreciate the work of Audrey Tautou.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is decent but not without issue.

    The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio. The box incorrectly lists the aspect ratio as 1.77:1.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout, however it was quite badly affected by MPEG grain. Shadow detail is good without being spectacular. There is some macro-blocking to be seen from time to time especially in backgrounds. Examples can be seen at 8:20 & 37:40.

    The colour was good but a little washed out with bright colours not appearing overly vibrant.

    Other than the MPEG issues already mentioned there was some edge enhancement here and there.

    There are burned-in subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear and easy to read.

    There is no layer change as this is a DVD5.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is decent.

    This DVD contains a French Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s. This disc itself has the track coded as English (which is obviously incorrect). Overall this soundtrack sounds a bit flat and very front and center focused.

    Dialogue seemed clear and easy to understand throughout although my French is pretty ordinary.

    The music by Jerome Coullet is a good addition to the overall viewing experience but lacks body on this low bitrate audio track.

    The surround speakers were not used.

    The subwoofer added bass to the music.

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

Extras

    Pretty slim, I'm afraid.

Menu

    The menu features an intro, music and scenes from the film. It allows for scene selection.

Theatrical Trailer (0:57)

    A short French trailer with English subtitles. Not 16x9 enhanced.

Other Umbrella Trailers

   

R4 vs R1

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

    The most extra packed version globally is the French R2 release, however, this is not English friendly as it does not even have English subtitles. Accordingly, I will dismiss this from comparison.

    The Region 1 (Canada) version misses out on the following from the Region 4 version:

    The Region 4 version misses out on the following from the Region 1 version:

   Region 1 wins the day.

Summary

    An intriguing and different French thriller.

    The video quality is decent.

    The audio quality is decent.

    The only extra is a theatrical trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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