The Man Who Cried (2001)

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Released 2-Jan-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 95:00
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Sally Potter
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Christina Ricci
Cate Blanchett
John Turturro
Johnny Depp
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $36.95 Music Osvaldo Golijov


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/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
French
Dutch
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Man Who Cried is an unusual movie by all regards and is not easily summarised. Primarily, it is a story about love, loss, and change. To this end, it is best to approach this movie with an open mind and minimal pre-conceptions, sit back, and enjoy.

    It is 1927 and Suzie (Christina Ricci), a young Russian girl, is sent overseas by her family to avoid persecution due to her Jewish blood. Ten years later, with a new family and life, Suzie has little memory of her former life, clinging to an aging photo of her real father. Suzie has a penchant for singing and manages to acquire work as a chorus girl and moves to Paris. Here, she befriends Lola (Cate Blanchett) and they both begin working in a prestigious opera group. Suzie meets, and falls in love with, Cesar (Johnny Depp), a Gypsy horse handler.

    The imminent invasion of Paris by the Nazi forces brings about change for Suzie again. Will she flee, and leave her lover behind, or will she stay with the possible exposure of her Jewish blood causing dire problems? Will Suzie ever be re-united with her father?

    I found this to be an enticing and unusual movie experience. The all-star cast is well utilised with excellent performances all round. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Upon opening the DVD case and noticing the single "layeredness" I had a few qualms about the quality of this transfer. Fortunately, those qualms were well and truly laid to rest with the opening scenes of the movie. This is an excellent video transfer in all aspects with a few very minor problems.

    The feature is presented in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness is excellent throughout the transfer, particularly around 21:20 where the detail in the pine fronds is simply breathtaking. There is some very minor low level noise to be found around 59:00, but this is nothing to get upset about. Shadow detail is superb, which is fortunate given that the majority of this movie is composed of night-time sequences or filmed in overcast weather.

    Colours are generally subdued throughout, but never washed out. This is an artistic choice to really bring home the conditions that Suzie has to face. There is some minor chroma noise in a stage prop at 21:20, but again this has limited impact on the overall viewing experience.

    There are no obvious MPEG artefacts to be seen. Aliasing is the only film-to-video artefact to be seen, limited to 7:20 (cart) and 79:20 (sink). I did not notice a single film artefact.

    The English subtitles available on this disc are generally accurate and well timed.

    This is a single layered disc, and as such there is no layer change to negotiate.

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

Audio

    To accompany an excellent video transfer is an equally good soundtrack with only one minor, niggling, problem.

    The only soundtrack available on this disc is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 384kbps.

    Dialogue quality is exceptional throughout. Of particular note is the soaring operatic singing that is woven into the film in numerous scenes. Spine-tingling stuff. Unfortunately, audio sync is troublesome for the entire first half (approximately) of the movie. I am usually fairly insensitive to audio sync issues but even this transfer had me cringing occasionally.

    The score, by Osvaldo Golijov, is truly excellent work. It is primarily a classical/operatic score that accompanies, and heightens, the overall emotion of the movie. It has a very wide and immersive soundscape that envelops the listener. The director has also very subtly made use of quiet scenes to maximum impact in this movie, not seen (err, heard...) very often in modern movies.

    The surround channels are used to good effect for ambient sounds and score reinforcement throughout. There is very limited action in this movie, and the small amount that is present utilises the surrounds quite well. The subwoofer is used to support the score and the occasional piece of action.

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

Extras

    None. Not one.

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;     The DTS soundtrack on the R1 disc is certainly very enticing. The operatic and classical music captured would probably benefit noticeably from this addition. However, from R1 reviews it would seem there is a little pixelization marring the picture. I guess it is up to you. Just bear in mind that the R1 is likely to be quite expensive.

Summary

    The Man Who Cried is a very enjoyable movie presented on a technically superb disc.

    The video quality is excellent

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras do not exist

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Cameron Rochester (read my bio)
Tuesday, May 21, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer 106S DVD-ROM with PowerDVD 4.0 scaling to 864p, using RGB output
DisplayMitsubishi VS-1281E CRT front projector on custom 16x9 screen (270cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

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