|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Bill Forsyth, 1987)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 45,717,919,506 bytes
Feature Size: 34,290,159,168 bytes
Video Bitrate: 35.02 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: May 22nd, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (SDH), none
• New interview with director
Bill Forsyth (2017, 41:48)
Description:Director Bill Forsyth (That Sinking Feeling, Gregory’s Girl, Local Hero, Comfort and Joy) made his American film debut with this moving and offbeat adaptation of Marilynne Robinson’s acclaimed novel, about two young girls who are sent to live with their eccentric aunt (Christine Lahti).
Lucille (Andrea Burchill) and Ruth (Sara Walker) come to live with their off-the-wall Aunt Sylvie (Christine Lahti) after their mother kills herself. From sleeping on park benches to methodically stacking tin cans into pyramids, Sylvie's quirks are at first hard to get used to. While Ruth eventually grows fond of the woman's irrepressible spirit, Lucille starts to resent her aunt's behavior -- especially when it brands them as outcasts among their small town's perplexed residents.
Adolescent sisters Ruthie (Walker) and Lucille (Burchill) live by a threatening black lake; their mother lies at its bottom, and Aunt Sylvie (Lahti) flaunts death by rowing on it late at night. Sylvie rocks the boat in other ways too. Arriving out of the blue to care for her nieces, she has habits that challenge the small town's conventions and eventually come between the girls: she collects tins, sleeps on park benches, hoards newspapers, condones the girls' truancy, almost sets the house on fire while cooking. Gentle humour stems from such idiosyncrasies, but Sylvie is irresponsible, dangerously so. When Lucille's schoolgirl desire to be 'normal' forces her out of the house, we sense an ominous flipside to the kookie, childish adventures Sylvie dreams up to entertain Ruthie. Weather, period (the '50s) and place (Idaho) are so emphatically detailed they're oppressive; while Sylvie and the girls come to life with greater depth and wholeness than Forsyth's characters have hitherto enjoyed. Here the director's characteristic other-worldly charm is overshadowed by a dark intensity; with its backdrop of death, isolation and portent, the movie is sombre, very strange, but wonderful.
"Housekeeping'' is by far the most accomplished comedy yet made
by Mr. Forsyth, the Scottish director who first came onto the
international scene with ''Gregory’s Girl'' and ''Local Hero.'' Miss
Robinson's novel has provided him with material in which the mysterious
is an essential component of the mundane, and not simply a leavening
agent. Though it's full of moments of real sadness, ''Housekeeping'' is
also startlingly funny.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Housekeeping looks extremely pleasing on Blu-ray from Indicator out of the UK. Cinematographer Michael Coulter's visuals showcase the expansive British Columbia outdoors adding to the film's themes. The image quality shows a subtle layer of grain, pastel colors support the era and the contrast is impeccably layered. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. It is neither glossy nor pristinely sharp but shows some depth and the visuals are impressive in-motion. It is transferred in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio and this Blu-ray offers a highly appealing 1080P presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Indicator use a linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 2304 kbps (24-bit) and it is flawless. There are minimal effects but the score by Michael Gibbs (Close My Eyes) sounds excellent - clean and adeptly supporting the film. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE, playable worldwide.
Indicator include new, revealing interviews with director Bill Forsyth, editor Michael Ellis, author Marilynne Robinson, and DoP Michael Coluter - each relating their experiences working on Housekeeping. There is also a BFI interview with director Bill Forsyth from 1994, an original theatrical trailer and image gallery. The package has a limited edition exclusive booklet and is limited to 5,000 copies.
May 17th, 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 3500 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS