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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

45 Years [Blu-ray]

 

(Andrew Haigh, 2015)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: The Bureau

Video: Curzon / Artificial Eye / Criterion Collection - Spine # 861

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:35:11.747 / 1:35:39.191

Disc Size: 34,418,223,567 bytes / 44,212,668,786 bytes

Feature Size: 30,488,782,848 bytes / 29,816,463,360 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps / 35.39 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 21

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: January 11th, 2016 / March 7th, 2017

 

Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

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 3623 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3623 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Descriptive Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3858 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3858 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles (both):

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Audio commentary with director Andrew Haigh and producer Tristan Goligher
Q + A with Charlotte Rampling , Tom Courtenay, Andrew Haigh and producer Tristan Goligher (11:09)

• Trailer (2:04)

 

Audio commentary featuring Haigh and producer Tristan Goligher
New documentary featuring interviews with Haigh, Goligher, actors Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, editor Jonathan Alberts, and director of photography Lol Crawley (36:42)

New interview with David Constantine, author of the short story on which the film is based (13:14)
Trailer (2:07)
PLUS: An essay by critic Ella Taylor

 

Bitrate:

 

1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

Description: Kate Mercer (Charlotte Rampling) is planning a party to celebrate her 45th wedding anniversary. One week before the celebration, however, a letter arrives for her husband, Geoff (Tom Courtenay), containing news that reawakens troubling and long-hidden memories.

Though Kate continues to prepare for the anniversary, she becomes increasingly concerned by Geoff s preoccupation with the letter and the ensuing revelations about his past. By the time the party comes round, there may not be a marriage left to celebrate. Anchored by sensational performances from Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, 45 Years is an intimate, moving and beautifully restrained portrait of a marriage shaken to its core by things left unspoken. Winning Best Actor and Best Actress awards at this year's Berlinale Film Festival, Andrew Haigh's (
Weekend, Looking) 45 Years is British filmmaking at its very best.

***

In this exquisitely calibrated film by Andrew Haigh (Weekend), Charlotte Rampling (The Night Porter) and Tom Courtenay (Billy Liar) perform a subtly off-kilter pas de deux as Kate and Geoff, an English couple who, on the eve of an anniversary celebration, find their long marriage shaken by the arrival of a letter to Geoff that unceremoniously collapses his past into their shared present. Haigh carries the tradition of British realist cinema to artful new heights in 45 Years, weaving the momentous into the mundane as the pair go about their daily lives, while the evocatively flat, wintry Norfolk landscape frames their struggle to maintain an increasingly untenable status quo. Loosely adapting a short story by David Constantine, Haigh shifts the focus from the slightly erratic Geoff to Kate, eliciting a remarkable, nuanced portrayal by Rampling of a woman’s gradual metamorphosis from unflappable wife to woman undone.

 

 

The Film:

The winner of the Silver Bear for Best Actress (Charlotte Rampling) and Best Actor (Tom Courtenay) at the Berlin International Film Festival, Andrew Haigh's (Weekend, Looking) film is a moving and profound look at marriage and the secrets we keep. There is just one week until Kate Mercer's (Rampling) 45th wedding anniversary and the planning for the party is going well. But then a letter arrives for her husband (Courtenay). The body of his first love has been discovered, frozen and preserved in the icy glaciers of the Swiss Alps. By the time the party is upon them, five days later, there may not be a marriage left to celebrate.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

A long dormant seed of dissent takes root and blossoms in 45 Years, a powerful drama from Andrew Haigh. It raises the question: how quickly can a constant in your life be dissolved into an uncertainty? Is the entropy of hidden trauma escapable, or will it always catch up? Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are eminently believable as they wrestle silently with these dilemmas in a way that brings to mind the tight-lipped and overwhelmingly low key ferocity of Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier.

Events start with somewhat cosmic absurdity, as Geoff Mercer (Tom) receives a letter five days before his 45th wedding anniversary, explaining that his old flame Katya - long dead - has been found preserved in a glacier in Switzerland. Detached and whimsical, he contemplates going to see her as Kate (Charlotte) tortures herself by probing Geoff with questions about his and Katya’s relationship, the circumstances of her death, and what she really meant to him. 45 is an odd year for an anniversary, but the Mercers are catching up due to Geoff receiving bypass surgery five years earlier.

Excerpt from Eye For Film located HERE

 

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

45 Years gets a solid dual-layered transfer to Blu-ray from Curzon / Artificial Eye.  It has a high bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. Contrast is at the lower-end - possibly an intended look. The 1080P looks excellent in-motion. The transfer frames the film at the accurate 1.85:1 ratio. Colors may look a shade dullish. Indoor, low-level lit sequences show no noise and it's, predictably, pristinely clean showcasing some pleasing hi-def detail. This Blu-ray probably is a respectable representation of the theatrical version of the film.

 

You can see that the Criterion has richer and darker black levels and it really does improve the image. The Criterion is cited as a "High-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Andrew Haigh". To my eye it looks better - superior contrast brings out more detail... Criterion win on the visuals - but it is a slight advantage.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The AE Blu-ray of 45 Years offers a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3623 kbps and the option of a stereo linear PCM (both 24-bit). There really isn't much requirement for separation as the film is, predictably, dialogue-driven. It sounds quite rich and deep via the uncompressed. Nothing but positives here for the audio transfer. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Criterion's DTS-HD Master surround track is indistinguishable from the same one on the UK disc, although Artificial Eye add the option of a stereo track - also in lossless. There is a wonderful mixture of music from Dusty Springfield, Aaron Neville and The Moody Blues to Mozart. Criterion also include optional English (SDH) subtitles but their Blu-ray disc is region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

A revealing audio commentary is included with director Andrew Haigh and producer Tristan Goligher going through the rhythms of the film, production details and the performers... it's very interesting and worth indulging. There is also a 11-minute Q + A with Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Haigh and Goligher on stage in front of an audience - plus there is a trailer.

 

Both have the same audio commentary with director Andrew Haigh and producer Tristan Goligher recorded in 2015. Criterion add a new, 37-minute, documentary featuring interviews with Haigh, Goligher, actors Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, editor Jonathan Alberts, and director of photography Lol Crawley. There is also a new 13-minute interview with David Constantine, author of the short story "In Another Country" on which the film is based. He discusses his story, the changes director Andrew Haigh made in adapting it, and how he feels about the final film. There is also a trailer and the package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Ella Taylor.

 

Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Absolutely brilliant film. 45 Years probes deep into the heart of a relationship with some astounding surprises from the past. It is deft filmmaking and Haigh again justifies his lauded, story-teller, abilities. The film carries much in what is not said (pained looks, furtive glances, and guilt-ridden lack of eye contact) - as much as what is.  The Curzon / Artificial Eye Blu-ray provides a solid a/v presentation with added value with the commentary. I had an absolutely marvelous viewing and give this one of our highest recommendations!

 

Still a magnificent film upon revisitation. It stuns you emotionally and Criterion nudge ahead, as many expect, but I think as opposed to quibbling too much about the differences - this is a film that should just be seen. It's a masterpiece. Don't miss it!   

Gary Tooze

January 9th, 2016

January 31st, 2017


 

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.

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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
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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze

 

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