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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Mia Madre [Blu-ray]

 

(Nanni Moretti, 2015)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Sacher Film

Video: Curzon / Artificial Eye

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:47:04.625

Disc Size: 34,557,546,764 bytes

Feature Size: 33,940,448,640 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 7th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 3546 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3546 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

• Trailer (1:27)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Palme d’Or winning director Nanni Moretti (The Son's Room, The Caiman, We Have a Pope) returns with Mia Madre, a playful, reflective and intelligent drama.

Set in present-day Rome, the story follows Margherita, a filmmaker attempting to balance her work with her family life. Pulled between the demands of a difficult Hollywood actor (John Turturro, in a scene-stealing role), her teenage daughter and the slow decline of her mother’s health, she finds herself struggling to hold everything together. But much like the director’s profession itself, she must stay in control right until the final call.

Winner of numerous awards, including the Ecumenical Jury Prize at Cannes 2015, Mia Madre is a subtle, tender and carefully balanced exploration of love, loss and the pressures of modern life.

 

 

The Film:

At the heart of Mia Madre is a trio of women: Livia (Beatrice Mancini), a teenager who has dealt with heartache unnoticed by her mother; Ada (Giulia Lazzarini), a grandmother hospitalised by an illness which is inexorably undermining her physical and mental strength; and Margherita, a film-maker overwhelmed by personal and professional pressures, brilliantly played by Margherita Buy in a performance worthy of Oscar nomination. It is upon Buy’s shoulders that much of the drama rests as she attempts to complete a Ken Loach-style political drama, “Noi siamo qui” (We Are Here), about the dignity of industrial action while coping with the decline of her mother and feared estrangement from her daughter. Juggling her time between the movie set, the hospital and the home, the doubt-racked Margherita drops in and out of focus, the film’s fluid timeline mirroring the watery ebb and flow of her dreams, memories, and experiences. Meanwhile, Margherita’s brother Giovanni (Moretti, significantly sidelining his own on-screen presence) simply steps away from work, taking a leave of absence to attend to his mother, but also to tend his own emotional wounds.

Excerpt from The Guardian located HERE

Nanni Moretti's latest film, Mia Madre, is elegant, understated, and discreetly moving. A personal, if not autobiographical film, Mia Madre chronicles the slow death of a filmmaker's mother as the director struggles to complete her movie. Moretti experienced the hospitalization and death of his own mother while he shot 2011's We Have a Pope, which may be why this film's rhythms and emotions feel so genuine.

Margherita (Margherita Buy) is the aforementioned director, a control freak who tends to be oblivious to the needs of those around her. Once she learns of her mother's condition, she is deeply shaken, while her brother Giovanni (played by Moretti) remains practical and accepting of the situation. Though cinematically portraying a filmmaker as self-involved and insensitive is hardly knew, Margherita is no caricature. She is completely believable as a well-established career woman who isn't used to hearing 'no,' but none of her anal-retentiveness seems to come from a place of meanness. Buy plays her with effortless pathos in a graceful performance that anchors the entire film.

Excerpt from Twitch located HERE

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

Mia Madre gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye.  It solidly in dual-layered territory and has a max'ed out bitrate for the 1 3/4 hour feature. The 1080P image, presumably shot on digital, is essentially flawless - solid contrast exhibiting healthy black levels and some depth in the 1.85:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are it looks excellent in-motion. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film. It seems devoid of artifacts, noise or imperfections of any kind.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The AE Blu-ray of Mia Madre offers a DTS-HD Master 5.1, in the original Italian, at a very healthy 3546 kbps. It has crisp, but infrequent, separation and there is also the option of a, less robust, linear PCM track in stereo. No officially credit score but we have most of the film's music by Arvo Pärt (who wrote pieces used in The Great Beauty, Foxcatcher, There Will Be Blood among other great films) as well as there are composures represented by Nino Rota (Il Bidone, 8 1/2, I Clowns, Purple Noon, The Leopard etc.) and Philip Glass (The Thin Blue Line, Koyaanisqatsi, A Brief History of Time, Kundun, Home, The Illusionist) - all sounding quite wonderful in the uncompressed transfer. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Unfortunately only a trailer - disappointing for a films that deserves more.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Once again Nanni Moretti creates an impressive human film expression. Mia Madre encompasses impressive storytelling and film construction - bordering on a masterpiece. The Artificial Eye Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation but the lack of supplements hurt the value somewhat. This is easy to endorse on the strength of the film alone - absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

December 2nd, 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.

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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