Brian Dennehy, in perhaps his most colossal performance, plays Stourley Kracklite (how’sthat for a monicker?). This American architect, accompanied by much-younger wife (ChloeWebb), arrives in Rome to curate an elaborate exhibit celebrating an 18th-Century architect withwhom he has been obsessed most of his life. What should be the pinnacle of his career turns intoa nightmare. He suspects his wife is not only having an affair, but that she is poisoning him.
Dennehy’… obsession plays out, as one would expect with director Peter Greenaway, inelaborate visual terms, connecting his stomach to the spectacular art and architecture thatsurrounds him. While Greenaway’s work is not quite as visually extreme as it would shortlybecome (think The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover or The Pillow Book),it is still eye-popping, and his narrative is a bit more character-driven. In any event, this ispowerful stuff.
Greenaway’s films are so incredible to look at that one sometimes forgets that they are auraltreats as well. Thus, it is a little disappointing that the audio track is only 2.0. Still, the music(which is where the lushness is to be found) sounds fine. The surround effects are a bit low key,are appropriately placed (see, for instance, what is done with the fountain in the first Romescene).
The blacks are excellent, which is crucial in a Greenaway film. The reds are pretty good too,and those are perhaps the most important elements of his palette. There is a very slight shimmer,however, and the image is a touch soft in the long shots. There is some very minor grain, as well,but no visible edge enhancement.
Nothing but the theatrical railer. Disappointing.
It’s a shame that a spectacular film is given this bare-bones disc, but don’t let that deter youfrom seeing it.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer