The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 108 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS-5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Jim Sturgess, Anne Hathaway, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Stott, Romola Garai
Directed by: Lone Sherfig
Music by: Rachel Portman
Written by: David Nicholls based on his novel
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 29, 2011
"Twenty years. Two people."
Directed by Lone Scherfig, and adapted by David Nicholls from his #1 international bestseller, One Day stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as Emma and Dexter, whose relationship over twenty years is filled with laughter and tears. Emma, an ambitious working-class girl, and Dexter, a wealthy charmer, first meet on July 15th, 1988 at their college graduation - and their instant connection lasts a lifetime as they come to terms with the nature of love and life itself.
One day opens on July 15th, 2006 and after a brief introduction, which has little meaning at that point, flashes back to the same date in 1988. After a rather inauspicious meeting after their college graduation - Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew embark on a friendship that will last a lifetime. She is a working-class girl of principle and ambition who dreams of making the world a better place. He is a free spirit who comes from a wealthy background and views the world as his oyster. For the next two decades, key moments of their relationship are experienced over several July 15ths in their lives. Together and apart, we see Dex and Em through their friendship and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. Their relationship is a sojourn of happiness complicated by undisclosed feelings perpetuated by emotional reliance. As the true meaning of that one day back in 1988 is revealed, they come to terms with the nature of love and life itself.
My wife and daughter both read the novel and enjoyed it very much. I sat down and watched it with my wife and she remarked that she hoped this adaptation would do the story justice. The screenplay, which was written by the book's author David Nicholls, lacks good character development and moves briskly through the story's essential connective elements. I enjoy the modern romance genre which I believe is fundamentally reliant on a foundational connection to the characters. As someone not familiar with the book I found the narrative's flow to be a distraction. Emma is pretty transparent as the insecure, nerdy and motivated loner who spends years pining for her best friend Dex who is supposed to be seen as sympathetic, especially later in the story, and winds up being anything but. Frankly I thought that Emma was too good for Dex. As drawn here his list of redeeming qualities is very short. My wife says that much of this is owed to some of the more critical aspects/interactions being left out. This includes Dex's relationship with his mother played by a scarcely seen Patricia Clarkson.
Several key figures/moments in the book are given footnote status which lessens the impact of their contribution within the construct of the storyline. When the final act came around I felt little to no connection to the events transpiring which adversely effected my reaction to the predictable finale which is one of the book's strong points. I am not so convinced that this is the type of novel that would even make for a good film. It would probably have to be too long in order to generate the emotive connection required. It just didn't elicit a wanton desire to see love win out despite the odds. To me this is more of a friendship drama than a romance. I get the irony but the shallow characters combined with the remote and overly melancholic nature of the script left me lukewarm to say the least. I like Anne Hathaway but didn't always find her to be convincing and Jim Sturgess was definitely a swing and a miss. The end result is an uninteresting drama that apparently pales in comparison to the novel it was adapted from.
The rating is for sexual content, partial nudity, language, some violence and substance abuse.
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:
One day comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.
This is a satisfying high definition video presentation that delivers quality which is on par with a newer release film coming to Blu-ray Disc. Colors appear natural with pleasing depth and an intentionally subdued palette. Complexions are realistically depicted with defining texture, and good tonal separation. Blacks are respectable but don't offer the depth and delineation that make them stand out. Detail in low light and dark backgrounds is estimable. Grain is light and noticeably present especially during dark/low level scenes. Images offer good dimensional depth, stable sharpness, and respectable clarity but don't expect opulent high gloss video. This appears to look exactly as intended which when all is said and done is quite good. The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack presents the film's soundtrack with aplomb. The sound mix features predominantly clear vocal reproduction although there were occasions where I had trouble discerning low level dialogue. Part of this was attributable to the muddled British accent employed by Anne Hathaway. High level detail enhances the detection of less prominent sound effects and the subtle nuance in the music score's instrumentation. The film is essentially driven by dialogue so there is little call for deep bass and room filling sound effects. The surround channels supply occasional rear channel ambience which extends the front soundstage from time to time but otherwise the focus remains front oriented. I didn't feel as though the presentation was lacking in way and thought it sounded fine.
- Feature commentary by director Lone Scherfig
- (HD) Deleted scenes - 4 minutes
- (HD) Em and Dex, through the years - 3 minute featurette
- (HD) Anne Hathaway: Bringing Emma to life - 2 minute featurette
- (HD) The look of One Day:
- Making a 20 year love story - 1 minute
- Creating Emma with Anne - 2 minutes
- Dexter's transformation - 1 minute
- My scenes bookmark feature
- pocket BLU
- BD-Live enabled
Based on the successful novel of the same name One Day is a dour film that fails to capture the emotive essence and sweeping epic narrative of its subject material. My wife read the book and found the screenplay by author David Nicholls to be sorely lacking. I haven't read the book but wholeheartedly agree with her assessment. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring satisfying high definition audio/video quality and a bland assortment of bonus supplements that consist of several promotional snippets, deleted scenes and a director audio commentary. If you're a fan of the book/genre (that hasn't already seen the film) and are curious I would strongly suggest a rental prior to purchase.
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