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directed by Guillaume Nicloux
France/Belgium 2015


Some months after the death of their estranged son Michael, long divorced Isabelle (Isabelle Huppert, MERCI POUR LE CHOCOLAT) and Gerard (Gerard Depardieu, 1900) are summoned by his deathbed request to Death Valley which he visited a week before committing suicide in his home in San Francisco. The letters he wrote to both of his parents claims that they will be reunited on the twelfth of November of that year (2014) at one of seven Death Valley landmarks. Gerard is convinced that their son wants to punish them with the sadistic trick of forcing the couple to spend time together in the sweltering environment. Isabelle, on the other hand, is desperate to know why their son took his life and is all too willing to embrace the mystical nature of his request. Director Guillaume Nicloux's (THE NUN) minimalist meditation on love and loss has a couple intensely moving moments but ultimately rings shallow. Huppert and Depardieu - reunited thirty-six years Maurice Pialat's LOULOU - are excellent but it seems more like they are rising to an acting challenge than embodying well-wrought characters, and the mystical scenes only work because of Huppert's heart-rending displays of hysteria. Depardieu for most of the film is as emotionally removed from the film as his character but has some fine moments under somewhat tasteless circumstances late in the film. As far as French people in a strange land films go, VALLEY OF LOVE feels like a less eventful TWENTYNINE PALMS.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 17 June 2015 (France)

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:32:27

2.48:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.38 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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


Audio French/English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, English SDH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.48:1

Edition Details:
� Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:39)
� Previews

DVD Release Date: June 14th, 2016

Chapters 8





Strand Releasing afford this average-length film their now standard high-bitrate progressive, anamorphic encode and the results are quite attractive. The Death Valley locations often take the back seat to close-ups of Huppert and Depardieu, but rugged textures of the landscape are evident when they are contrasted with the leads who are intended to look frailer than they hopefully really are. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack faithfully represents the sound design which makes subtle use of the surrounds and more forceful jump-worthy movements across the front channels. Optional English subtitles for the French dialogue and English SDH subtitles for all of the dialogue are included. The sole related extra is a trailer for the film, but the disc also includes trailers for four Strand releases, including the previously-reviewed ABUSE OF WEAKNESS (a superior effort with Huppert) and SEX, LOVE & THERAPY.

The film is available on Blu-ray only in France but it has no English subtitles.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC


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