Lore Blu-ray Review
When your life is a lie, who can you trust?
PicturePresented in it's original 1.85:1 aspect, this AVC encoded 1080p transfer is likely to befuddle some. It holds nowhere near the crisp detail and vivid sharpness we've come to expect from a modern day release, but at the same time, it looks undoubtedly beautiful. The fact is that Director Cate Shortland and revered Aussie DoP, Adam Arkapaw opted for the lesser used Super 16 source to shoot on. It's a definitive creative and stylistic decision, and, though it absolutely works, without knowing this fact, the movie seems slightly off-kilter with it's recently released world-cinema counterparts.
Nevertheless, now you know this, it's a lot easier to understand the overall lack of sharpness, and instead, you can begin to admire the richness of the cinematography itself. With lots of shallow depth of field, the softness of the image doesn't feel misplaced or incorrect, and the deep grain structure that is, at first, a little overpowering, becomes a natural aspect of the image you enjoy whilst watching this.
Blacks occasionally feel a little crushed, and the overall blueish hue to the image can be a little overbearing at times, especially in darker night-time scenes. There are never any issues with following what's going on though, so beyond creative differences you might have with the director and her DoP, I think you'll find yourself forgiving any initial scepticisms you might have.
On the whole, it's difficult to say that this film shows off the Blu-ray medium, but it's certainly an intriguing image that, without the fidelity of Blu-ray, would otherwise look somwhat fluffy and perhaps jarring. It's about as good as you're going to see for Lore, which, in my humble opinion, is plenty good enough!
SoundThe 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio track is actually this disc's trick up it's sleeve. Though never overpowering and hardly likely to amaze in the traditional sense, there's a subtle, yet commanding dynamic range in the audio presentation. The depth that you can feel between the lush and detailed ambiences as Lore and her family trudge through the forest is spine tingling. With distance modelling on sounds far away being absolutely incredibly subtle - in fact, I haven't heard an ambient sound mix with such brilliantly processed distance modelling since Drive and that scene during which Ryan Gosling is sat in the car waiting for Standard to come out, where you can hear the train hooting along miles and miles away in the background. The same sort of subtleties apply here, and it's masterfully handled. The surround array is only ocassionally utilised, but when it is, it's rich and has presence, adding to the visuals brilliantly. LFE channel use is sparse, to say the least, but when it booms, it's most certainly a thumping surprise.
Dialogue is always crystal clear, and never drifts out of comprehensible territory, and Max Richter's evocative score drifts woefully in and out of the whole mix beautifully. On the whole, a great audio presentation, if perhaps only for it's restraint and subtlety.
ExtrasA little light on the extras front, but what's here is worth a watch, and will only take you 40 minutes or so in total.
Interview with Director - 15 minute interview with Australian Director Cate Shortland in which she discusses all aspects of the movie, including Saskia Rosendahl's casting.
Making Of - 17 minutes of on set footage and interviews with cast and crew.
VerdictIt's the end of the second world war, and Nazi Germany has fallen, and the allied troops move in. Hitler leaves behind a fractured and broken, yet loyal following, whose actions are to be held to account. Abandoned by her Nazi Parents, Lore is charged with bringing her siblings across a five hundred mile stretch of countryside to the safety of her Grandmother's home in Hamburg. As the teenager struggles against hunger, fear and the dawning realisation of the atrocities carried out by her beloved Führer, she fights against the truth in order to try and preserve her insulated and somewhat blinkered outlook on life.
There is a profound message hidden within Cate Shortland's emotionally divisive Lore, but alas, I couldn't quite put my finger on exactly what it was. It's a tale of maturing and coming of age, of harsh realisations and home truths, and the discovery that all you knew was a lie. Coupled with this is the added burden of looking after several young children, Lore must grow up far too quickly and survive in a land she once loved, and now finds extremely hostile.
As far as Blu-ray packages go, Lore is perfectly acceptible. You would most certainly look elsewhere for a system show-off disc, but for an engrossing and entirely memorable experience, the movie Lore is plenty to make this disc worth every penny. Recommended.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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