A word from the wise.
Shiny and slick, yet also modern and observant, this unlikely pairing of Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway delivers heartfelt humour and smart scripting whilst largely avoiding the pitfalls of the genre.Blending atypical buddy-buddy vibes with a distinctly non-romantic comedy script, The Intern is an unexpected gem that produces genuine, natural laughs and sincere interest courtesy of its observations on working parents, strong female characters and the role-reversal of househusbands, not to mention its look at the impact the experience of older generations can have on the upcoming modern generation (though they would likely never admit to it). The story follows Jules, the founder of a fast-growing internet fashion company, who works so hard that she has very little time for her husband and young daughter, and whose company has become so big that they’re now looking at recruiting a dedicated CEO, which makes her feel even more threatened. Into her crammed life comes Ben, a retired widower in search of purpose, who successfully applies for a senior intern program and gets recruited to help out at Jules’ company and, unsurprisingly, help out Jules herself.Although it may be an unusually effective pairing, and it may be a pleasant surprise to find that De Niro actually does his legacy proud (even though, with his recent David O’Russell collaborations that’s thankfully not quite the exception to the rule these days), what isn’t a surprise is that we find writer/director Nancy Meyers behind the project, whose directorial work – including What Women Want, Something’s Gotta’ Give and It’s Complicated – has always had a sharp, keenly observational (experience-based) slant to it. There’s more humanity, and reality to her work than dozens of the projects from her counterparts, and with Hathaway on surprisingly strong form (particularly once she opens up) and De Niro managing to actually play humble OAP extremely well even without any self-mockery, the end result is an unlikely but natural fit, and a warm, eventful, insightful voyage of friendship and discovery. Against all odds, this one's a cut above.
Picture QualityThe Intern looks as impressive as you would expect from a modern modest-budget, relatively high profile flick like this, shot digitally and promoted here with a 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in the film’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen.
Largely impressive video leaves this another top new release.
Detail remains hard to fault, maintaining strong impressions of skin textures – DeNiro’s ageing visage – and background flourishes, with the sets and props well-crafted, and the image lacking any inherent softness of focus issues. There are no signs of digital defects either. The colour scheme is brimming with striking primaries, and vibrant tones, whilst black levels provide a strong backdrop. Overall, it’s a rich, detailed and impressive presentation.
Sound QualityThe DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track provides a suitably impressive aural accompaniment too.
Although ostensibly dialogue-dominated, The Intern’s audio track is actually largely defined by its pervasive, occasionally twee but mostly suitably heartfelt and warm, score, which holds priority across the array for the most part of the feature. The dialogue nevertheless remains clear and coherent throughout, offered up across the front and centre channels, whilst effects are largely atmospheric, picking up office hubbub, tapping keyboards, buzzing intercoms, electronic mail signals, chirping mobile phones, and so forth, and keenly disseminating them across the array. Although there’s nothing distinctly demo to the track, the track is still a strong and faithful offering that’s hard to fault.
ExtrasRelatively limited, all we get are a trio of short 5-minute Featurettes: Learning from Experience; Designs on Life and The Three Interns, as well as some promo Trailers.
Blu-ray VerdictNeither a conventional buddy-buddy comedy nor a rom-com, The Intern plays with expectations right from the get-go.
Indeed Meyers' study of working women and househusbands, dot com generations and phonebook generations, is insightful and acute in its observations, generating genuine laughs and heartfelt emotion. With a great Blu-ray release, albeit a little thin on the ground in the extras department, The Intern comes recommended.
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