Directed by Craig Gillespie
USA 2007

 

Gosling continues his winning streak of strong roles in smart films (The Believer, Half Nelson, Fracture), showing his talents here as both a terrific character actor and appealing leading man. In this quirky, beguiling comedy scripted by Six Feet Under’s Nancy Oliver, he plays a reclusive, churchgoing office worker living next door to his brother Gus (Schneider) and pregnant sister-in-law Karin (Mortimer). Lars’s undemanding routine is upset when a lonely new colleague (Garner) comes on to him, prompting him to surf the Internet for someone less threatening.

He finds her in Bianca, a life-size doll he introduces to his stunned family as “a missionary on sabbatical.” He’s so convinced Bianca is human that a sympathetic doctor (Clarkson) finds the only way to treat his delusion is to persuade his community to go along with it. Watching the group adopt the mannequin as one of its own is deliciously weird and also deeply moving: These small-town Midwesterners meet the challenge of their traditional beliefs with humor, compassion, ingenuity and grace.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 10th, 2007 - Toronto Film Festival

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DVD Review: Sony - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

NOTE: Ours is the Sony 'Canadian' edition but we recommend the US, MGM, one:

Distribution Sony Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:46:16 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.96 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)  
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: April 15th, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

NOTE: The 'culprit' here is that this disc I received is from Sony Canada. The one for sale at Amazon.com (US) IS from MGM and DOES have some extras (and looks to be dual-layered). Obviously our advice is to buy the US edition. (Thanks Mark for telling us!)

Well Sony - what the heck is going on? Not only is this bare-bones without a hint of extras but the DVD is single-layered! (supported by a correspondingly low bitrate). For such a fairly lauded/popular release it is surprising indeed. I wonder what could be the reason. Anyway, the image quality is not appalling (anamorphic and progressive) - but a definite notch below modern film transfers. It looks a shade thin, colors slightly drab, dark at times and has some digital noise but luckily the film doesn't require intense visuals - it's pretty basic and the intent is, at least, represented adequately. I has heard quite a bit about this and was expecting at least some form of supplementary featurette or making of... if not a commentary.  

This Sony DVD  (not MGM as listed on Amazon) offers a, fairly wasted, 5.1 track along with a 2 channel and some optional English subtitles.

The film? Sure - it's light, quirky, deviant - all at once. Good performances. I've heard one representation as 'Capraesque' but that might be overstating things. I thought it was unique and entertaining but nothing more. Yes, it is cloying - if that is a heavy negative. Certainly worthy of a spin, in my opinion, and the list price of less than $15 seems acceptable given the film's worthiness... if overly-high given the DVD content. For shame Sony! (we shake our finger at you) - let's not make a habit out of this. 

Gary W. Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

NOTE: Ours is the Sony 'Canadian' edition but we recommend the US, MGM, one:

Distribution Sony Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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