French Film (2008)
Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
|Year Of Production||2008|
|Running Time||84:13 (Case: 88)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Jackie Oudney|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English (Burned In)||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I have reviewed quite a lot of romantic comedies lately but I can comfortably say this is the best one I have seen for a while. One major point of difference is that this is an English film (despite the title) both in terms of writing and production. This obviously brings a very different approach to romantic comedy that that generally pursued in Hollywood. This is much less silly and more witty and bittersweet than most Hollywood rom-coms. The other thing about this film is that it also extends itself to be a satire about French cinema, and the differences between the French & the English especially in regards to love.
The story is about two English couples who know each other well. The first couple is Jed Winter (Hugh Bonneville), a journalist and his long term girlfriend, Cheryl (Victoria Hamilton), a magazine editor. After ten years together, Jed has recently asked Cheryl to marry him but she has said 'no'. The other couple is made up of Jed's best friend, Marcus (Douglas Henshall) who is in advertising and the slightly ditzy Sophie (Anne-Marie Duff). Marcus and Sophie got together originally when Sophie found Marcus preparing to jump off a bridge and talked him down.
The two events which drive the movie's plot are that Jed is preparing to interview a French movie director, Thierry Grimandi (Eric Cantona) who makes films about love (in a very Gallic manner) and that Marcus has just run into a childhood sweetheart again and this makes him question who he is in love with. Jed has decided that Thierry is a complete w***er and tells the others what he thinks which reveals that Marcus is a fan of his work. To say too much more about the plot would spoil the enjoyable surprises in this film.
This film works both as a romantic comedy and also as a fun satire. All five of the main cast members are great, however, Cantona is fantastic as the floppy haired, cigarette smoking and very French Thierry Grimandi. There is a great quote from his character at the start of the film which I won't spoil but reminded me very much of a French film I reviewed recently, OSS 117 . Another star here is the great writing by Aschlin Ditta. The film covers themes such as falling in love and falling out of the love, the madness inherent in falling in love and the importance of the 'beginning' in a relationship.
Fans of romantic comedy or English comedy should definitely seek this one out. It is currently available to rent and will be released to retail in late September 2009.
The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced which I would guess is the original aspect ratio.
The picture was quite sharp and clear without being really crisp. Shadow detail is decent. There is also some light grain in some backgrounds plus some minor blocking.
The colour was good without being overly vibrant.
There were no obvious artefacts other than those mentioned..
There are subtitles in English burned-in for French dialogue. There are no subtitles streams.
There is no layer change in the feature.
The audio quality is good but only stereo which is surprising for a new film.
This DVD contains one audio options, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s. As the film is pretty much dialogue focused this is not an 'end of the world' issue but a more explansive audio transfer would have been nice.
Dialogue was easy to understand and clear throughout.
The majority of the featured music is a nice collection of pop tunes includes a marvellous cover of Waterloo Sunset which also graces the menu..
The surround speakers were used for some atmosphere when played using PLII.
The subwoofer was not used in any noticeable way.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu features a nice red, white & blue theme and the aforementioned version of Waterloo Sunset.
Electronic Press Kit style interviews with title cards between each section. Nothing too revealing is included.
Tedious and fairly meaningless behind the scenes footage of shooting.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This seems to be the first global release of this film on DVD.
The video quality is very good but unspectacular.
The audio quality is good but stereo.
The extras are pretty ordinary in quality.
|DVD||Sony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 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 Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|