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Frances Ha [Blu-ray]
(Noah Baumbach, 2012)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Scott Rudin Productions
Video: Criterion Collection Spine #681
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 40,572,781,043 bytes
Feature Size: 25,722,089,472 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: November 12th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2824 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2824 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
• New conversation between filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and
Description: Greta Gerwig is radiant as Frances, a woman in her late twenties in contemporary New York trying to sort out her ambitions, her finances, and, above all, her intimate but shifting bond with her best friend, Sophie (Mickey Sumner). Meticulously directed by Noah Baumbach with a free-and-easy vibe reminiscent of the French New Wave’s most spirited films, and written by Baumbach and Gerwig with an effortless combination of sweetness and wit, Frances Ha gets at both the frustrations and the joys of being young and unsure of where to go next. This wry and sparkling city romance is a testament to the ongoing vitality of independent American cinema.
Effortless and effervescent, "Frances Ha" is a small miracle of a
movie, honest and funny with an aim that's true. It's both a timeless
story of the joys and sorrows of youth and a dead-on portrait of how
things are right now for one particular New York woman who, try as she
might, can't quite get her life together.
Credit here belongs in large part to Gerwig, who proved the leavening
touch in Baumbach's last film, the largely unbearable Ben Stiller brood
vehicle Greenberg. There, Gerwig's dressed-down frumpiness and
tongue-tied, aw-shucks humility served to cut Stiller's hard-faced
astringency. Here, Gerwig and Baumbach configure those same
self-consciously "quirky," half-manic qualities negatively. Frances is
fun (as when she pees off a subway tunnel after a night of drinking) and
funny (as when she honks off the advances of a would-be suitor), yet
she's also capricious, stubborn, and self-interested, traits that at
once endear her to a NYC subclass of parentally subsidized fuck-abouts
(Adam Driver, Michael Zegen) and alienate her from her more careerist,
self-serious longtime BFF (Mickey Sumner).
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Frances Ha looks excellent on Blu-ray from Criterion. The image has excellent contrast. This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate and we can guess that it is a solid representation of the film. I can't imagine it looking much more authentic. It is in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio (shot in HD on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II) and seems to avoided any noticeable weaknesses in that format. I saw no noise nor flaring. The visuals are rich and deep. This Blu-ray has no discernable flaws and supplies a beautiful 1080P presentation. Many of the shots are artistically based and remind me of postcards. Thumbs up!
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Criterion transfer the audio via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 2824 kbps. The film does not carry an abundance of seperations - although a few are present. It is mostly dialogue and images and the audio sound competent. We do get some evocative music tidbits including Thème de Camille from Jean-Luc Godard's "Contempt", Bowie, Harry Nilsson, Bach, Stones and a lot of Georges Delerue. It all sounded as appropriately veritescattered as was intended. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' Blu-ray disc.
Criterion include a new (June 2013) conversation between filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Baumbach running about 16-minutes. We also get a July 2013 conversation between actor and filmmaker Sarah Polley and the film’s co-writer and star, Greta Gerwig running 17-minutes. In an 18-minute piece, produced by the Criterion Collection (2013), co-writer Noah Baumbach, director of photography Sam Levy, and Pascal Dangin, who did the film’s color mastering discuss digital filmmaking. the late cinematographer Harris Savides and how they achieved the look of Frances Ha. There is also a trailer and a linear notes booklet featuring an essay by playwright Annie Baker. Being 'Dual Format' the package also has a DVD, with all content available of the Blu-ray.
November 5th, 2012
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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