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My Old lady [Blu-ray]
(Israel Horovitz, 2014)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: BBC Films
Video:Curzon Film World
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 34,962,557,527 bytes
Feature Size: 31,189,241,856 bytes
Video Bitrate: 31.42 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 16th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 2.4:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3090 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3090 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
•Q+A with director Israel Horovitz (10:25)
• Trailer (2:09)
Description: Oscar winner Kevin Kline plays Mathias, a New Yorker who travels to Paris in order to liquidate a very valuable apartment that he has inherited from his late father. However, once there he finds a peculiar old woman occupying it (Oscar winner Maggie Smith) and she has more than just a bit of bad news regarding his plans to become wealthy.
Despondent New Yorker Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline) ventures to Paris with plans of liquidating the apartment inherited from his late father, but runs into an unexpected roadblock when he discovers that the flat is currently inhabited by his father's former lover, an elderly Englishwoman named Mathilde Girard (Maggie Smith), and her adult daughter Chloé.
Perky music and a suave, light-footed entrance by Kevin Kline as an
American in Paris give the early scenes of “My Old Lady”
the feel of a Franco-American comedy in the vein of Cédric Klapisch’s
recent “Chinese Puzzle.” But the 75-year-old playwright Israel
Horovitz’s screen adaptation of his own 2002 production is not what it
initially appears to be.
That title might lead you to expect a soundtrack from Chas and Dave. Actually, it’s a thoughtful emotional drama, written and directed by the veteran playwright Israel Horovitz. The film is a bit sentimental here and there, but well-acted, and when the cinemas are so full of YA, it’s interesting to get some A: a film for grownups. Kevin Kline plays recovering alcoholic Mathias, who shows up in Paris, having been left a handsome apartment by his father; embittered by failures and disappointments, he is relying on this property to boost his self-esteem. But to his horror, he finds it is a viager: it has a sitting tenant – who sold it for a song on condition that she can stay and receive rent for the rest of her life. This is the 92-year-old Mathilde (Maggie Smith) who regards Mathias with polite, queenly tolerance, though her daughter Chloé (Kristin Scott Thomas) is more disdainful. It is perhaps not too hard to guess the narrative direction of this ménage à trois, but there are ingenious twists along the way and the performances make it watchable. A soft-centred piece of movie confectionery, not without charm.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
My Old Lady gets a strong 1080P transfer to Blu-ray from Curzon Film World in the UK. It is dual-layered with a very high bitrate for the 1 3/4 hour feature. Colors are passive and true with rich dark pastels. The high resolution supports solid contrast exhibiting impressive black levels and frequent depth in the 2.4:1 frame. It's, predictably, pristinely clean showcasing some pleasing hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Curzon use the option of a linear PCM stereo at 2304 kbps or a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a more dynamic 3090 kbps - both in original English although there is some French in the film. The film is, predictably, passive but the score by Mark Orton, some Paul Mehling pieces, Paul Simon and some of Mozart's 'Don Giovanni' at the end all sound exceptionally sweet. There isn't much separation at all in the film. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
A decent, if short, Q+A with director Israel Horovitz running just over 10-minutes and a theatrical trailer.
March 4th, 2015
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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