Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 24th, 2017
BluRay released: August 21st, 2017 (UK), August 22nd, 2017 (USA)
Approximate running time: 103 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 12 (UK), NR (USA)
Sound: LPCM Mono French
BluRay Release: Arrow Academy USA
Region Coding: Region A,B / Region 1,2 NTSC
Retail Price: $39.95 (USA) / £24.99 (UK)
The Love of a Woman was co-written and directed by Jean Grémillon, whose other notable films include, Lady Killer, Stormy Waters and The Strange Madame X. Key collaborators on The Love of a Woman include, cinematographer Louis Page (The Walls of Malapaga, Any Number Can Win) and screenwriter René Wheeler (Rififi).
At the heart of this melodrama is a tale about choices and the consequences of said choices. The film’s narrative revolves around a young woman whose work as a doctor is eclipsed by her love for a man who feels that her career is in the way of their happiness.
The narrative is well constructed and key moments of are given an ample amount of time to resonate. The characters are well defined and the cast are very good in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance being Micheline Presle (Paris Frills, Devil in the Flesh) in the role of this film’s protagonist doctor Marie Prieur. She delivers an engaging performance that makes it easy to empathize with her characters dilemma. Another performance of note is Massimo Girotti (Ossessione, Teorema) in the role of André Lorenzi, the man who feels threatened by Marie’s desire to continue her career as a doctor.
Without a doubt, the most surprising aspect of this film are its visuals. And nowhere is this more evident, then in how the visuals reinforce the mood of the story at hand. Standout moments include, the scene where André gives Marie his ultimatum. This scene takes place in a dilapidated building that foreshadows this film’s heartbreaking ending. And the scene where Marie realizes how important being a doctor is to her, after she saves a man’s life.
The Love of a Woman comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. This release has been flagged for progressive playback and the film is presented in its intended 1.37:1 aspect ratio. Grain looks natural, the image looks crisp, contrast and black levels remain strong throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in French and included with this release are removable English subtitles. There are no issues with background noise or distortion, dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include, a reversible cover art and a twenty-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled The Love of a Woman written by Ginette Vincendeau and information about the transfer.
Other extras include, a feature-length documentary on the filmmaker from 1969 titled In Search of Jean Grémillon (96 minutes 9 seconds, in French with English subtitles). This extra is a detailed career retrospective about Jean Grémillon, that contains interviews with interviews director René Clair, archivist Henri Langlois, actors Micheline Presle and Pierre Brasseur.
Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall The Love of a Woman gets a first rate release from Arrow Academy.