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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Love of a Woman aka "L'amour d'une femme " [Blu-ray]

 

(Jean Grémillon, 1953)

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Les Productions Cinématographiques (L.P.C.)

Video: Arrow Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:43:06.263

Disc Size: 47,323,549,147 bytes

Feature Size: 30,119,129,856 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.87 Mbps

Chapters: 14

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 21st-22nd, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English , none

 

Extras:

In Search of Jean Grémillon, a feature-length documentary on the filmmaker from 1969, containing interviews with director René Clair, archivist Henri Langlois, actors Micheline Presle and Pierre Brasseur, and others (1:36:10)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Ginette Vincendeau

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The Love of a Woman (L'amour d'une femme) was the final feature of the great French filmmaker Jean Grémillon, concluding a string of classics that included such greats as Remorques, Lumière d'été and Pattes blanches.

Marie, a young doctor, arrives on the island of Ushant to replace its retiring physician. She experiences prejudice from the mostly male population, but also love in the form of engineer André.

Starring Micheline Presle, whose impressive career has encompassed French, Italian and Hollywood cinema, and Massimo Girotti, best-known for his performance in Luchino Visconti's Ossessione, The Love of a Woman is a sad, beautiful, romantic masterpiece.

 

 

The Film:

L'Amour d'une Femme (The Love of a Woman) stars Micheline Presle as a woman doctor named Marie. Dispatched to a small coastal island to tend to the needs of the residents, Marie must first overcome the local male population's built-in misogynism. Gradually, she convinces everyone that she's as qualified for her job as any man. The community nearly loses Marie when she falls in love with a visiting engineer named Andre (Massimo Girotti), but she elects to do 'the right thing' by the final fadeout. A bit hokey in the dialogue passages, L'Amour d'une Femme succeeds thanks to the winning performance of Micheline Presle and the evocative location photography of Rene Wheeler.

Excerpt from Barnes + Noble located HERE

The last feature by French master Jean Gremillon, this 1954 drama brings considerable insight and enormous sensitivity to the predicament of the modern woman. A gifted doctor (Micheline Presle, in a focused and luminous performance) becomes the resident physician on a coastal island, struggles to win the townspeople's respect and affection, then finds herself torn between love and work when her new beau (Massimo Girotti), a handsome engineer, prepares to move on to another job in a new locale. Gremillon wrote very few of his films, but his screenplay here shows a depth of humanity equal to Jean Renoir's.

Excerpt from The Chiacgao Reader located HERE

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

 

This is the another Arrow Blu-ray release that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same transfer, extras etc. on both sides of the pond.

 

NOTE: As Michael Brooke informs us on Facebook in regards to Day of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup (or Region 1 or 2 for DVD - and in the latter case the video standard is NTSC, to maximise compatibility). The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.' We presume The Love of a Woman to be the same situation.

 

The Love of a Woman gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow.  It is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1 3/4 hour feature. The film's restoration and digitization was carried out with the help of the CDC (Centre National du Cinema et de l'image Animee.) Contrast is superb and grain textures consistent in supporting a beautifully rich presentation. It looks extremely film-like. The 1080P reproduces solid black and white visuals in the 1.33:1 frame with occasional depth.  It's very clean with a very few light surface scratches. This Blu-ray seems fairly flawless and this video quality get a huge thumbs up.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is transferred via a faithful linear PCM mono track(24-bit) in the original French language. Aggressive effects are almost non-existent in the film and the uncompressed track is not pushed much. It's a solid score, often dramatic, credited to Henri Dutilleux + Elsa Barraine - I liked it. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' + 'B' (essentially FREE).

 

Extras :

There is only one digital supplement - but it's a great one. A La Recherche de Jean Grémillon (In Search of Jean Grémillon) is a 1.5 hour documentary on the filmmaker from 1969, containing interviews with director, René Clair, archivist Henri Langlois, actors Micheline Presle and Pierre Brasseur, and others. It is in French with English subtitles and is has some educational interpretation of the man as a beloved filmmaker with comments on his admirable qualities. I thought it was excellent. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio and for the first pressing there is an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Ginette Vincendeau.

 

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Love of a Woman is a beautiful and very sad film. I would say it is brilliantly realized by Grémillon capturing the essence of human emotion including loneliness, desire, and loyalty. The Arrow Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation with a fabulous supplement. I suggest this is a world cinephile essential and to own it in such, home theatre-friendly, quality seems miraculous. We strongly recommend. 

Gary Tooze

August 24th, 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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