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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Unknown Girl aka "La Fille inconnue" [Blu-ray]


(, 2016)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Les Films du Fleuve

Video: Curzon / Artificial Eye



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

Runtime: 1:46:09.500  

Disc Size: 33,144,125,680 bytes

Feature Size: 32,279,494,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 6th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio French 1769 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1769 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit



English, none



• Trailer (1:43)





Description: Jenny, a young general practitioner, feels guilty for not having opened the door of her practice to a girl who is found dead shortly after. On learning from the police that they have no way of identifying her, Jenny has only one goal: to discover the name of the young girl so that she will not be buried anonymously so that she will not disappear as if she had never lived.



The Film:

Directing-duo Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have been making slight variations of the same, very good (sometimes great) film for years, so it’s exciting to see the French brothers take their morality tales into the framework of a murder mystery with The Unknown Girl.
The two-time Palme d’Or winners, whose films represent life on the fringes, effortlessly shape simple situations into ambiguous drama. Following their “ticking clock” thriller Two Days, One Night, about a depressed women with only a couple of days to convince her co-workers to give up a bonus so she can keep her job, the Dardenne brothers have devised – once again – a very simple premise that’s a means to observe oppression at a ground level. Although most films of this type are heightened for entertainment’s sake, the genre influences in The Unknown Girl are subdued. A single death, a sliver of corruption and prejudice, is a consequence of institutional and individual malpractice. Everyone is culpable.

Excerpt from WeGotThisCovered located HERE

Like sculptors reworking the same granite into familiar shapes, Belgium's Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc, always tell challenging, immediate, contemporary stories rooted in the grey, industrial townscape of French-speaking Seraing near Liège. In their latest, the remarkable young French actress Adèle Haenel plays Jenny, a sensitive but no-nonsense local doctor consumed with guilt when a young prostitute is found dead by the river near her surgery.

The dead girl had knocked on Jenny's door after surgery hours and shortly before her death – but Jenny ignored the bell, perhaps removing the only lifeline available in her final minutes. Having rigidly observed the boundaries of her professional responsibility, now Jenny stretches them to find out the girl's name and what happened to her. She wants to do for her in death what she failed to do in life. She even inquires at the local cemetery about paying for a proper grave.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE


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

The Unknown Girl gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Curzon / Artificial Eye.  It's dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1 3/4 hour feature. Image quality is true, colors are tight and authentic. The 1080P supports solid contrast and frequent depth in the, original, 1.85:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the transfer appearance. This Blu-ray probably looks like a strong replication of the theatrical version of the film, The Unknown Girl. Which is all we can ask.

















Audio :

The AE Blu-ray of The Unknown Girl offers a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1769 kbps or a linear PCM 2.0 channels stereo at 1536 kbps - both 16-bit in the original French language. The separation is minor and only in everyday occurrences like walking in the street or driving. There are no effects or score music in the film. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

Only a theatrical trailer.



Once again the Dardennes create pure cinema - the camera never leaving our protagonist - we see and feel the world around her as she does - including emotional impact. The Unknown Girl is another very moving film from the brothers. Nice to see Dardenne regulars Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Olivier Gourmet and even Thomas Doret (The Kid With a Bike) as part of the simple, yet brilliantly realized, production.  The Artificial Eye Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation but is, unfortunately, bare-bones. We can hope a Criterion BD will rectify that - if it is in the works. Fans of the directors' work don't need my encouragement. Their contributions remain impacting, and addictive, cinema. 

Gary Tooze

February 1st, 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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