Somewhere comes to UK Region Free Blu-ray complete with a 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen. This is certainly not a demo-quality transfer with which to show off your equipment but, then again, it’s not the kind of material which demands that kind of rendition. The production’s realist stylisation leaves you expecting a certain level of grain, the grittiness of the image is never at odds with the material, and arguably adds to it, leaving you feeling like this is more like a stylish fly-on-the-wall documentary. Detail generally comes across extremely well indeed; it’s hard to fault, with no softness or noticeable edge enhancement, the aforementioned intentional noise only becoming excessive in some of the darker, low-level-lighting sequences. The colours are occasionally a little bleached, but only as appears to be their nature, given the setting, and black levels are reasonably strong. It’s a perfectly acceptable transfer considering the type of production we’re dealing with – an indie flick made for next to nothing.
The movie comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, not that you would really notice since it has an expectedly restricted sound design. In fact the only really standout moments come courtesy of French band Phoenix’s score, most notably the closing track which, in some respects, is the best part of the entire production. Still, dialogue comes across clearly and coherently throughout – what little there is – and we do get a couple of minor hints of separation across the channels, mostly on account of ambient atmospherics. That Ferrari going round and round incessantly at the start is perhaps one example, and maybe the Ferrari’s glorious engine can be blamed for the only other vague highlight of the track. Bass? Practically non-existent. But you shouldn’t really hold any of this against what is, essentially, a perfectly acceptable aural rendition.
The only solitary extra is a 17 minute Making Of Featurette, which often comes across like a bit of a short film itself, charting the making of a film within a film. Sofia Coppola, with her new-born daughter, chats to the camera about her project, and we follow her and some of the cast and crew as they go about their business. A nice little well-made extra which perfectly suits the main feature film. Still, they could have done more – a commentary certainly would have been appreciated to further expand upon the subject-matter.
I have a lot of time for Lost in Translation, and for the work of its talented director Sofia Coppola, and so it was with eager anticipation that I dived into her latest critically acclaimed production, Somewhere, which appears to have been celebrated all across Europe. Personally, I don’t rate it at all, the meandering style of Coppola appears to be in overdrive here, and whilst this attempt at getting viewers inside the head of a bored celebrity appears to have struck a chord with critics and audiences alike, I think it still suffers from an overbearingly self-indulgent sentiment. The characters may struggle with finding a purpose to their lives, may well be unhappy, but they never escape coming across as insufferable ingrates; and in its ultimate quest to depict boredom, the film never escapes being boring itself.
On Region Free UK Blu-ray we get pretty standard video and audio, that perfectly suits the material, as well as a nice little extra that is also in-line with the style of the main production. Fans will find it hard to fault, and be pleased to have this release in their collection, newcomers may want to consider a rental first. If you didn’t like the indisputably slow, contemplative pacing of Lost in Translation then you’re never going to survive Somewhere; and even if you love Lost in Translation, you may find that Somewhere goes too far in the direction of inane tedium and loses you in the process.
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