White Oleander DVD Review
PictureThe movie is framed and presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic print. Average would best describe it. Colours are washed out and bleached allowing white to become the dominant force. This is doubtless intentional as Ingrid represents the deadly dangerous white oleander. Towards the end of the movie we see darker colours coming to the fore until eventually Astrid, as a form of rebellion and desperate to break free of her mother, appears in a black punk-rock motif. During these scenes the colours are clear and clean, with no colour bleed, and reasonable levels of detail. There is no evidence of digital artefacting except a degree of haloing around the chicken wire fences in the prison scenes. The urge to enhance those edges must have been too great to bear.
SoundDramas are never going to set the home cinema enthusiasts penchant for surround sound on fire so don't expect anything other than clear and focussed dialogue and you won't be disappointed. No subwoofers, no surrounds, but some surprisingly wide off screen doors open and slam in some early scenes. I thought someone had opened the door of a car in my driveway, they were that far wide of the onscreen action.
ExtrasThe extras are very disappointing. A director/writer commentary from Peter Kominsky and Janet Fitch, which I found rather dry and lifeless after the emotional turmoil of the movie, and a few short interviews with the director and lead actors, which seem hastily shot and cut together by an amateur on iMovie (in fact an amateur on iMovie would have done a better job). A couple of trailers round out the slim pickings.
VerdictThe DVD is run of the mill, the movie is anything but. It will certainly not be to everyone's taste, and is not a film for a night in with the lads, but you will go a long way to find more compelling drama and better acting by a quartet of Premiere League actresses.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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