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Cold Water Criterion Blu-ray Review

Cold Water.jpg

“Cold Water” is a serious coming-of-age story.

Long unavailable on home video in the U.S., the acclaimed 1994 French coming-of-age drama “Cold Water” at long last gets a release courtesy of Criterion. The 1970’s Paris set film does not have a traditional narrative story and instead meanders and roams around much like a teenager. The story revolves around two delinquent teenagers- a young boy named Gilles and his glover Christine. Gilles has anger issues, a strained relationship with his parents, gets in trouble at school, and doesn’t get great grades. Christine is unstable and has been sent to a mental health institute. The two meet-up once again when Christine runs away from the institute. From there on out, the two decide to run away together, but can they escape their problems?

“Cold Water” is not your average coming-of-age film. In fact, it doesn’t play like a Hollywood teen film at all. It’s a very serious, raw and in your face drama about two lost, angsty, immature, confused teenagers. To a certain degree, this is very refreshing as writer/director Olivier Assayas has crafted something that feels more real and intimate. On the other hand, the film is simultaneously frustrating much like its main characters.

For those expecting a visual cinematic experience, don’t. Cinematographer Denis Lenoir may drive you mad with shaky handheld camera work, extreme close-ups, and lingering shots that go on for too long. Olivier Assayas also has a tendency to focus on moments that don’t involve Gilles or Christine. Perhaps the most bizarre aspect here is that the film feels like it lacks a third act. Once the abrupt ending comes around, I personally felt like the movie was missing a big chunk. While the ending does feel appropriate, it’s still strange that there isn’t more here (at least to me).

A lot of credit should be given to the two main cast members here Cyprien Fouquet (Gilles) and Virginie Ledoyen. They really have to carry the movie and they do it well. Ledoyen, in particular, really dazzles here and it’s no surprise to learn that her career continues to go strong to this day.


Presentation:1.66:1 1080p. How does it look? The grainy film looks solid in hi-def thanks to a new 4K restoration.

Audio Track: French 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A crisp 5.1 track that sounds especially lively when the rock music tracks are playing.

Extras: * A booklet featuring an essay by blogger/author/teacher Girish Shambu * A new interview with director Olivier Assayas who talks about the film, music, the themes, etc. * A new 11 minute interview with cinematographer Denis Lenoir. * “Le Cercle De Minuit”- A segment from the French TV show “Le Cercle De Munuit” which contains interviews with Olivier Assayas, Virginie Ledoyen and Cyprien Fouquet.

September 8, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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