The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Classic Pictures - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 113 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie Dewitt, Bill Irwin, Tunde Adebimpe, Anisa George, Debra Winder
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Music by: Zafer Tawil
Written by: Jenny Lumet
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 10, 2009
"Who is to blame?"
When Kym (Anne Hathaway - Golden Globe Nominee, Best Actress, Motion Picture (Drama)), returns to the Buchman family home for the wedding of her sister Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt), she brings a long history of personal crises, family conflict and tragedy along with her. The wedding couple's abundant party of friends and family has gathered for a joyful weekend of feasting, music and love, but Kym - with her biting one-liners and flair for bombshell drama - is a catalyst for long-simmering tensions in the family dynamic. Filled with the rich and eclectic characters that remain a hallmark of Jonathan Demme's films, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED paints a heartfelt, perceptive and sometimes hilarious family portrait.
Rachel getting married is a film that depicts the trials, tribulations, and heartbreak that can often effect families. While the degree to which is does can vary there is no mistaking the truth that this film portrays. Rachel (Dewitt) is marrying Sidney, and the wedding is being held at her father's house. They seem a bit mismatched but appear to be very much in love. Kym (Hathaway), Rachel's sister, is in the wedding party, and is a recovering drug addict. It clear right from the beginning that Kym is the problem child and resident drama queen. Their parents Paul (Irwin) and Abby (Winger) have divorced and remarried which is something that is not an issue in this story. Paul appears to try very hard to please everyone and especially treats Kym with kid gloves. This is something that Rachel has become accustomed to but clearly resents. Kym has just completed a stint in rehab and is picked up be her father and brought over to the house. The wedding is planned for the next day and everyone is busy preparing. Kym immediately goes to work on Rachel after she learns that Emma (a longtime friend) is the maid of honor and not her. The little snit that she flies into provides a basis for what she is capable of. She gives a speech later on at the rehearsal dinner that culminates in a rather awkward apology to Rachel that leaves everyone present feeling pretty uncomfortable. The last integral piece of the pie is an underlying issue between Kym and Abby that goes unexplained until later when it erupts in the film's best scene. The ending, as in real life, didn't tie up every loose end or resolve every issue. It left feeling abrupt, but perfectly satisfying for these characters, which seemed just so apropos. I enjoyed the performances by the talented cast as Director Demme carefully guides the story so that we can truly get a feel for the characters. I felt that several scenes played out a bit too long and detailed but that is just Demme's style. Hathaway's Academy Award nomination was justly deserved. I have never seen her work to the depth that she did in this role. I also thought that Rosemarie DeWitt gave a strong performance that was worthy of note. Winger is of course phenomenal and that scene with Hathaway stayed with me after the film was over. This movie probably isn't destined to become a classic but it tells an interpersonal story about seemingly real people that strikes a chord. I thought it was worth watching and very good.
The rating is for language and brief sexuality.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Rachel getting married comes to Blu-ray from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 2.6 mbps.
This video presentation offered pristine image quality with plenty of high level detail and crisp resolution. Colors aren't overly bright and the majority of the film maintains a bit of a dreary aesthetic that suits the tone of the source material. The clothing worn by the members of the wedding party and guests were made up of variety of colors that looked appreciably vivid and departed nicely from the rest of the film's appearance. Fleshtones were tonally sullen with natural highlights that allowed them to retain lifelike quality. Blacks were respectable but not especially strong and shadow delineation was excellent. Contrast was bold without overstatement which produced dynamic whites and deep primary colors. This disc represents another solid video encoding from Sony that looked great.
The lossless Dolby TrueHD multi-channel sound quality was also quite good. Dynamics were defining without being strident or edgy. Dialogue was rendered with deep clarity and tonal character that had above average room penetration. The front soundstage was diffused with excellent separation and well articulated detail. The presentation didn't offer much in the way of discrete surround sound however spatial dimension was occasionally detectable as environmental sounds and front channel extension through the rear channels opened up the sound field. Bass response wasn't room filling but it appropriately supported the source elements and provided a tight, occasionally tactile low end.
- Commentary with Producer Neda Armian, Screenwriter Jenny Lumet, and Editor Tim Squyres
- Commentary with Actress Rosemarie Dewitt
- The wedding band - 7 minutes
- A look behind the scenes of Rachel getting married - 15 minutes
- Cast and crew Q&A at Jacob Burns Center, Pleasantville NY - 49 minutes
- 9 deleted scenes
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- BD-Live enabled
Rachel getting married is a portrait of a single family that like many has their share of issues. In their case the pain for some runs deep and the wounds may never heal but sometimes that is the way life can be. That coupled along with the superb performances by the cast is what makes this an engaging film to watch. Here is another solid high definition video release that shows Sony's strong commitment to the Blu-ray disc format. The inclusion of lossless audio and a decent bonus feature set make this an easy purchase recommendation for fans. At a minimum those who enjoy genre films like this should rent it because in my humble opinion it will be time well spent.
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