Une Femme Mariée Blu-ray Review
Encoded at 1080p using the MPEG-4 codec and presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1 Une Femme Mariée offers quite a stable, detailed image which, whilst enjoyable to watch, does have a few flaws, predominantly from the original source print. The brightness is pretty constant throughout, but whilst not excessive by any means does fluctuate. It rarely detracts from your viewing pleasure and at times almost becomes unnoticeable. Other print flaws such as blemishes or marks are seldom seen, however one or two do crop up every now and again. There seems to be no digital manipulation, grain structure is easily identified and close up facial structure, see screen shots 4 and 5 for instance, displays a superb level of pore and hair detail.
The actual encoding is more than respectable with no banding, blocking or enhancement on show. Une Femme Mariée presents a very bright image throughout and I did expect extensive haloing because of this; thankfully though this is not the case. There is a scene where Charlotte visits her doctor and this scene does present a little more grain and her hair displays black crush which is not apparent anywhere else in the film.
As mentioned this film is very bright, perhaps a representation of a fantasy world, and these whites are well represented, firm and solid with no encroachment into their surrounding areas. The backgrounds of the airport, and some distant shots of Paris still maintain a good level of detail throughout. Excellent detail is displayed in Charlotte's home, her dining room and bedrooms, however the 3-D factor is missing here and the image is a rather flat affair.
Blacks are handled well but they are never really inky black and this is a result of artistic choices made for the film rather than a fault with the encoding itself. Actual contrast range throughout the presentation is adequate, with the upper spectrum taking the largest slice of the cake.
The one and only audio track available to you is the original French LPCM mono, backed up by English subtitles. Unless you have your amp set up to add some artificial processing this is a wholly frontal affair with nothing stretched to your surrounds or rears, and because of its age this is to be somewhat expected.
There is no panning of course and similarly the frontal stage is a rather narrow affair, all emanating from the centre channel. There is some ambiance though from the occasional busy Parisian streets but really this audio track is dedicated to dialogue. The background score, chamber music and light strings, fair well with good upper tonal range. The low oboes account for the majority of the lower tones but like the blacks in the video this audio track never gets down and dirty.
Said dialogue is very crisp and detailed, centre locked obviously, and there's never a syllable out of place. There's not much else than can nor should have been done to this track and is probably the best it has ever sounded after its original theatrical release.
- Original Trailer. - 0:03:38 - 1080p/MPEG-4
The Godard edited trailer. If you thought his films were a little off the wall then take a look here. Not your usual run of the mill coming soon short.
- 80 Page Booklet.
An incredible 80 page booklet giving insights into some of Godard's work, philosophy, essays on this film as well as a short piece on the French New Wave. Brimming with photographs, containing some excellent detailed information (even how to watch this in its correct aspect ratio!) this booklet makes up for the lack of visual extras contained on this disc itself.
It's joy to see Eureka's ongoing pursuit of releasing non mainstream European and Asian movies into the European marketplace. Over the period we have covered a fair number here, this is now added to that collection and added to a growing Blu-ray catalogue from which you'll find some absolute gems. Godard is not to everyone's taste... the whole French New Wave movement itself leaves me a little cold most of the time but I have to admit I do enjoy the scene construction and cinematography they present.
Une Femme Mariée is no different in that regard; there's some beautifully shot scenes, with composition and angles you perhaps would never have dreamed of. Then the dialogue enters the frame and for me at least spoils an almost perfect moment. It is that dialogue which I usually tune out to, taking in the film from a purely visual point of view: it still works.
As a package you could have perhaps expected a few more extras; perhaps a documentary on Godard or the New Wave movement, however there is that wonderful booklet to peruse and that in itself makes up for some of the actual disc content's short comings. The audio is pure but nothing to write home about and the video has been cleaned without the expense of digital scrapping. An excellent watch, I'm glad to have it in my collection, but this like many other Godard films is not everyone's cup of tea.
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- Original Trailer. - 0:03:38 - 1080p/MPEG-4