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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

My Old lady [Blu-ray]

 

(Israel Horovitz, 2014)

 

Also available on Blu-ray in the US from Universal:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: BBC Films

Video: Curzon Film World

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:46:58.203

Disc Size: 34,962,557,527 bytes

Feature Size: 31,189,241,856 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.42 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 16th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

Q+A with director Israel Horovitz (10:25)
Trailer (2:09)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

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.

 

 

The Film:

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.

Mr. Kline brings his characteristic lilt and twinkle to the role of Mathias Gold, a failed playwright in his late 50s who is a three-time divorcé and a recovering alcoholic near the end of his rope. He has traveled from New York to Paris to claim his only asset, a splendid apartment in the Marais willed to him by his estranged father.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

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.

Excerpt from The Guardian located HERE

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

Extras :

A decent, if short, Q+A with director Israel Horovitz running just over 10-minutes and a theatrical trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I saw the value mostly in Kevin Kline who I always tend to enjoy (especially as the voice of 'Mr. Fischoeder' on Bob's Burgers). I would have appreciate more of Kristin Scott Thomas.  The Curzon Film World Blu-ray provides a solid presentation but I don't know that the film holds enough interest or value for those less keen. I liked it well enough but can only recommend to an audience less-cynical than this reviewer. 

Gary Tooze

March 4th, 2015

Also available on Blu-ray in the US from Universal:


 

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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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