Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on April 6th, 2005
In 1943, medical student Aňa Geislerová is living the sophisticated life in Prague, carryingon with a doctor. She’s also working for the Czech resistance, and when her lover decamps andshe is betrayed, she is forced to seek refuge in the country. She poses as the wife of GyörgyCserhalmi, whose life she saved with a blood donation when he was in the hospital. At firstdismayed by her new surroundings, she gradually comes to love both the countryside and herersatz husband…
The country mouse/city mouse romance is hardly the first of its kind, and at 148 minutes,the film does take its sweet time. The cinematography is gorgeous, however, and theperformances are first-rate.
The 5.1 Czech audio is strong, with clear, undistorted dialogue and fine surround effects(such as an enveloping blast of steam when the train pulls into the village). The results stop shortof total immersion, but are very solid. The music sounds fine, too, and all in all the sound is afine mix, free of some of the problems that plague the picture.
The picture is 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, which I confess is a slightly suspicious format,but I may just be nitpickingly paranoid. The colours are warm and have that nostalgic palette oneassociates with films set in this period. The image is decently sharp, too, but the print is hit witha fair number of instances of black speckling — surprising for a 2003 film.
Along with eight trailers and just under five minutes of deleted scenes, there are twofeaturettes. “Travel for Oscar” shows the cast and crew gallivanting about Hollywood as theyarrive for the ceremony, and the making-of featurette (subtitled) is better than the norm. Themenu is basic.
Not original, but still a moving, well-shot and well-acted story.
Special Features List
- Making-of Featurette
- “Travel for Oscar” Featurette
- Deleted Scenes