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La Vérité Criterion Blu-ray Review

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Brigitte Bardot shines in the overlong “La Vérité.”

In “La Vérité,” the story revolves around the trial of the young, beautiful, alluring, free spirited, sexual but troubled wild child Dominique Marceau who is accused of the murder of her lover Gilbert. If convicted she could face the death penalty. As the trial progresses, the film delves into her past via flashbacks where we (the audience) see her family life, social life, and her complicated romance with music conductor Gilbert. How did Gilbert die and what will happen to Dominique? That’s for you to see for yourself.

Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, “La Vérité” is an acclaimed movie that is half courtroom drama and half dramatic romance. The movie delves into some heavy duty subjects such as judgements, the legal system, love, societal norms (and changes within it), and age. Given that the film was released in 1960, one would think the story (and what would be deemed scandalous in that year) would come off a bit dated, but the movie smartly addresses this issue by delving into the differences between the youth and older folks (specifically those in the court). In this regard, the story proved to be quite forward thinking and is arguably the most intriguing aspect of the story. Of course, the exploration of human judgments and the legal system are also still poignant and relevant given that the flaws within the legal system are still as apparent as ever.

On the downside, “La Vérité” does have a pacing problem. At 2 hours and 8 minutes, the middle act really drags as it moves towards the dramatic climax. As a result, the movie itself kind of goes in circles in terms of the doomed relationship between Dominique and Gilbert. Basically, the point of the story and the dynamic between the characters is overstated and could have easily been edited down in my humble opinion.

Cast wise, Brigitte Bardot knocks it out of the park as Dominique. She really does grab your attention from the get go. Without her layered performance, the flashbacks and the drama within the court simply wouldn’t have been as impactful as they are. Sami Frey also shines as her doomed lover Gilbert. He plays off of Bardot exceedingly well and you really buy into their chemistry together.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.66:1 1080p. How does it look? I was blown away by the clarity of the transfer of this B&W film.

Audio Track: Uncompressed Mono. How does it sound? A solid track that is a bit too muted for my liking.

Extras:
* A booklet containing credits and an essay by Ginette Vincendeau
* A 62 minute long documentary on Henri-Georges Clouzot and his filmography titled “Le Scandale Clouzot.”

* A short but involving 1960 interview with Henri-Georges Clouzot from French television.
* A segment from a 1982 documentary film that features an interview with Brigitte Bardot along with other content.

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February 13, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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