Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on November 18th, 2003
Javier Bardem (perhaps more familiar to North American audiences for his superb work inThe Dancer Upstairs, is the self-appointed leader of a group of unemployed men. Theyhang out at a bar, and the days go by hopelessly. One has a wife who works, another keeps goingfor job interviews, but all have had their self-esteem destroyed. The film is not without somehumour, but as you can gather from this synopsis, it isn’t exactly a the feel-good release of theyear.>
The sound comes in both 2.0 and 5.1 versions. The guitar on the score has an excellent, rich,warm, reverberating feel. The dialogue is distortion-free, and the sound effects, though low key,do produce a solid environmental effect. This isn’t a film that cries out for knockout soundeffects, but the ones that are used are quite well selected and add to the you-are-there quality ofthe presentation.
A gritty film, and a gritty picture, but I mean that in the good way. The look of the film is arather ironic play on the title: the colours are gold and grey much of the time. There are no edgeenhancement halos, the flesh tones are good, and so are the contrasts. The aspect is 16x9anamorphic.
The menu is silent, but has some movement in the form of languorously changing images.Select the Lion’s Gate logo, and you get trailers for Mondays in the Sun and AmoresPerros. The other extra is a 26-minute making-of featurette, which, though hampered by ablurry image, has a lot to say about the politics of the film.
Excellent performances back up this gritty look at unemployment. Not for everyone, thoughfans of Mike Leigh will find themselves in familiar territory.
Special Features List
- Making Of Featurette