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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Julieta [Blu-ray]

 

(Pedro Almodóvar, 2016)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: El Deseo

Video: Sony

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:38:51.926

Disc Size: 28,555,651,831 bytes

Feature Size: 22,776,766,464 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.87 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 21st, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 3479 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3479 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Descriptive Audio:

Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English , French, none

 

Extras:

• Portrait of Julieta (8:52)

• Celebrating director Pedro Almodóvar (8:15)

Theatrical trailer (1:52)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In Julieta, critically acclaimed director Pedro Almodovar tells a story about a mother’s struggle to survive uncertainty and come to grips with fate. Julieta lives in Madrid with her daughter, Antia. They are both in pain over the loss of Xoan, Antia’s father and Julieta’s husband. But sometimes grief doesn’t bring people closer, it drives them apart. When Antia turns eighteen, she abandons her mother without a word of explanation. Julieta is haunted by the mystery of this loss and it pervades everything in her life. Her struggle and obsession lead to self-discovery and surprising revelations.

 

 

The Film:

Suárez and Ugarte don’t just play the same woman at different ages; they play the same woman on either side of two family crises that change her forever. We first meet Julieta (Suárez) middle-aged and living in Madrid, preparing to move with her partner (Darío Grandinetti) to Portugal. But a chance meeting with Bea (Michelle Jenner), a childhood friend of her daughter Antía, changes her mind about the move and she starts writing notes about her earlier adult life.

These memories lead us through the film. We meet Julieta as a punky young teacher in the 1980s; we witness a fateful train trip that leads to a death and introduces Julieta to her husband Xoan (Daniel Grao); we see how life gives her a daughter but later changes her in ways she’s only now coming to terms with. In many close-ups of his two lead actresses, Almodóvar invites us to read Julieta as an emotional mystery.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Pedro Almodóvar’s 20th film, Julieta, has a magnificent score from his trusty Alberto Iglesias, which cites musical motifs of all sorts and fuses them into a lithe, jazz-inflected suite. There’s a respectful variation on Barber’s Adagio, when the main character, on the worst day of her life, has to identify a body.

And in the moments when her daughter, Antía, is conceived on a night train, Iglesias brings in a breathy snatch of Debussy’s Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, accompanying an exquisitely bluesy, twilit image of sex reflected in a compartment window.

Everything changes for Julieta (short-cropped blonde Adriana Ugarte, a terrific near-newcomer) on that train. She’s just met this fellow passenger, Xoan (Daniel Grao), a hunky, bearded fisherman whose wife has been in a coma for five years.

Excerpt from The Telegraph located HERE

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

Julieta looks excellent on Blu-ray from Sony. The film was shot with the Arri Alexa XT. It has flourishes of Almodóvar's brilliant pallet of colors. It sneaks into dual-layered territory with a reasonable bitrate and brings his, usual, impressive visuals to the viewing with exuberance and fine detail. It's a modern films and not much to find flaws in the presentation. It's in the original 1.85:1 frame - no noise and decent contrast supporting some depth and pleasing sharpness in close-ups.  This Blu-ray looks solid and being an Almodóvar film makes it all the more handsome in 1080P.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Sony use a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3479 kbps (24-bit) in the original Spanish language. There are few effects and the robust transfer can handle all the film requires in terms of depth and separation. Alberto Iglesias (Sex and Lucia, Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy, Broken Embraces, The Skin I Live In, Che, The Kite Runner etc.) does the score and it's a special one - slowly convening emotion and atmosphere brilliantly. You may also note. Ryuichi Sakamoto's Playing the Piano 2009 and Si no te vas performed by Chavela Vargas. Dialogue was always clear and there are English and French subtitle choices as well as an English descriptive audio option. The Blu-ray disc is region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Not too much in the supplement department - a 9-minute Portrait of Julieta featurette as a standard, brief, making of advert has Almodóvar discussing his interest in the book etc. and a piece on an evening of Celebrating director Pedro Almodóvar running 8-minutes plus there is  a theatrical trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Julieta is another masterful examination of Almodóvar's penchant for the depth and compassion of female characters, but less a provocateur, as found in past films, and more probing of the heart and soul. It's complex and layered but it's hard to find another director who can stand beside this auteur in his emotional niche - certainly no one working in Hollywood can compare to his artistry. Julieta is a well-paced, story - multiple characters and a rewarding, if melancholy, effort. Probably his best film in years. It occasionally made me think of Volver. I thoroughly enjoyed the Sony Blu-ray presentation. I think the 1080P does its job well - and we, certainly, give a strong recommendation to see this film - this BD is a great way.

Gary Tooze

March 11th, 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.

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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