Jessica Lange is a top Chicago attorney, who finds herself called on to defend her father when he is accused of having committed war crimes in Second World War Hungary. Convinced of his innocence, she launches herself into the wrenching case, but finds that maintaining her convictions becomes harder as the case moves on. Given his later career (Basic Instinct,Showgirls, etc.), it’s rather surprising in retrospect to find that the script to this intelligent drama is by Joe Esteras. Though sometimes moving a bit too slowly, the film is always interesting, the performances are superb (especially by Lange) and the story builds to a pretty powerful climax.
The soundtrack is merely 2.0, but the music sounds terrific. The use of percussion (influence,I believe) by Hungarian folk music, is very effective, and is well served by the mix, which creates a very nice, echoing effect. The dialogue is sometimes a bit muzzy, however, and there are times where the sibilance is quite harsh. The creation of an environment through the use of sound effects is quite solid.
The format is fullscreen, which is a major disappointment. The original ratio is 2.35:1, and boy can you tell there’s been reformatting, especially in scenes where Lange and opposing attorney Frederic Forrest approach the bench and half of each actor’s face is sliced out of the frame. The colours, flesh tones, contrasts and blacks are good, though. There is the odd speckleor bit of dirt sullying the print.
Yet another disc indistinguishable, in most respects, from a VHS release. The fullscreen format is especially hurtful.