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directed by Joe Wright
UK 2000

 

A wonderfully moving and undeservedly obscure four-part BBC drama, NATURE BOY is the coming of age story of sixteen year old David Witton (Lee Ingleby, MR. TURNER). Living in foster care for as long as he remembers, David in uninterested school (where he is in the remedial course) and picked on by foster parent Len (Ewan Stewart, VALHALLA RISING) whose wife (Ruth McCabe, WAKE WOOD) is too harried with her other charges to stand up for him. The only solace David is able to find is in nature, spending most of his days and nights on the nearby island nature reserve with loner Fred (Mark Benton, BREAKING AND ENTERING). His drug-addicted mother refuses to see him, but a remark from a neighbor woman sparks a series of long-suppressed memories that reveal that his long absent father (Paul McGann, WITHNAIL AND I) was responsible for fostering his love of nature when he was much younger. When his good-natured teacher (Elizabeth Berrington, IN BRUGES) brings his knowledge of animals to light, he becomes as unpopular as the Chinese kid with the bullies in the class for standing out (earning the nickname "Nature Boy"). His only friend is new girl Anne-Marie (CORONATION STREET's Vicky Binns) but she quickly falls in with a bad crowd and drugs, revealing secrets he told her in confidence. When the bullies attack the nature reserve, burning Fred's cottage after it is revealed that he is a suspected pedophile, and Anne-Marie goes swimming on her own and drowns in the high tides, David can no longer stay in a place where bullies (young and old) destroy all things different (Len has also brutally killed one of his exotic pet birds that favored David) and takes to the road in search of his father. In the second episode, he finds himself caught in between Jenny (Joanne Froggatt, FILTH), the idealistic girl he is falling in love with, and Martha (Lesley Sharp, NAKED), the PR consultant to a local company whose cement dust is responsible for several local illnesses and deaths (and who has let David take shelter in her garden shed while he is looking after a rescued fox cub). His quest to find his father then takes a detour when he follows Jenny (who has managed to find a possible address for his father's whereabouts) to the Midlands where they join a group trying to prevent forest land from being cut down for an airport runway. After a raid on the site has tragic consequences, David must decide whether to stay or to finally confront his father and find out why he abandoned his family.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 14 February 2000 - 6 March 2000 (UK TV)

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DVD Review: Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 3:55:26 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: ~7.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English HoH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Simply Media

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Disc One:
� Episodes:
� - Episode 1 (16:9; 58:20)
� - Episode 2 (16:9; 58:48)

� Disc Two:
� Episodes:
� - Episode 3 (16:9; 59:10)
� - Episode 4 (16:9; 59:08)

DVD Release Date: April 25th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 32

 

 

 

Comments

Simply Media splits the four hour-long episodes of this series between two dual-layer discs. The 2000-era digital master of this possibly 16mm-lensed production is superior to that of the older series released by the same company even if it seems weak by modern digital video standards. The edge enhancement presumably dates back to the original digital masters rather than the DVD encode. Optional English HoH subtitle are included for the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack. There are no extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

 

 




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