Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 31st, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2013
Director: Francesca Gregorini
Writers: Francesca Gregorini, Sarah Thorp
Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Jessica Biel, Alfred Molina, Frances O’Connor, Aneurin Barnard, Jimmi Simpson
BluRay released: March 25th, 2014
Approximate running time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
The plot revolves around two women, a teenage girl named Emanuel who’s mother died giving birth to her and Linda the next door neighbor who’s own past has a similar loss which ultimately brings them together. And it is through Linda’s loss that Emanuel is finally able to bring closer to her unresolved feelings towards her own mother.
The narrative is flawlessly laid out as each and every character is given an ample amount of time to establish who they are and what their motivations are? This well defining of the characters not only make them all the more realistic, but it also makes it all the more easier to empathize with the issues they are working through.
Though this film is rooted in drama, the film’s visuals often verge into the fantasy territory, like a scene where Emanuel is briefly reunited with her mother somewhere underwater and her mother is taken away by fishes. Besides these aforementioned fantasy moments, the film also does a superb job setting the mood with atmospheric cinematography. From a visual stand point this film is always on solid ground and a feast for the eyes.
Performance wise this film’s two leading ladies Kaya Scodelario (Clash of the Titans) in the role of Emanuel and Jessica Biel (‘7th Heaven’) in the role of the distraught mother named Linda. These two performances give this film its center. Biel is a revelation her role as she gives with is arguably her strongest performance to date.
Spoiler: Linda’s daughter passed away a few years before and to cope with her lose she carries around a toy doll that she insists is her real child. Things to come to fever pitch when someone besides Emanuel is allowed to see the child and when it is discovered that her daughter is a doll. The blame is thrust upon Emanuel who was taking care of the child. End of Spoiler:
Besides the two amazing performances from this films two leading ladies. The films also features a remarkable secondary cast which includes Alfred Molina (Boogie Nights) in the role of Emanuel’s father and Frances O’Connor (A.I. Artificial Intelligence) in the role of Emanuel’s stepmother.
Francesca Gregorini follows up her solid debut film Tanner Hall with The Truth about Emanuel, an extraordinary tale about struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one.
The Truth about Emanuel comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used is in great shape, colors and flesh tones look accurate, black and contrast levels look consistent throughout. Details generally look crisp and there are no issues with compression. It should be pointed out that there are a few instances where the image looks a tad too soft.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. The DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English does remarkable job with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack. Dialog always comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too. The Dolby Digital Stereo in English is also in very good shape with the main difference is that it lacks the depth and range present on the DTS-HD 5.1 mix. Also included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles.
Extras include a trailer for the film and a four minute video with screenwriter / director Francesca Gregorini who discusses the origins of the film, how she had another actress in mind for the lead, recasting the lead and her thoughts on the casts’ performances. Rounding out the extras are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall The Truth about Emanuel gets a first rate release from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.