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An Unmarried Woman Criterion Blu-ray Review

Unmarried

“An Unmarried Woman” stands the test of time.

Erica seems to have everything going for her. A classy home, a seemingly loving husband (Martin) of 17 years, an intelligent teen daughter (Patti), caring friends, and a good part-time job working at an art gallery. When Martin reveals to Erica that he has been seeing another woman for the past year, however, Erica’s world comes crashing down on her. Lost, confused, scared and lonely, Erica has to blaze a new path for herself, rediscover life, and get back into the dating world. Easier said than done.

Written and directed by Paul Mazursky (who also makes a cameo), 1978’s Academy Award nominated adult drama “An Unmarried Woman” may be about a specific time and place (late 70’s New York), but it’s about so much more. It’s a deep character study about starting life over as a divorced mother, feminism, sexuality, love, family, art and change. Mazursky explores the life of Erica in a thorough fashion, but, more importantly, in a realistic and identifiable manner. This never feels like some typical Hollywood marital drama. Some might take issue with the fact that Erica is more well off than most divorced women, but her economic status isn’t really the focus here. At tis heart this is a story about Erica’s personal struggles and how she has to start living for herself. 

Viewers can expect several fantastic performances here. Jill Clayburgh is obviously the star and it’s no surprise that she knocks it out of the park. She even earned an Oscar nom for her work and deservedly so as she brings such depth to the role of Erica. Lisa Lucas gives a memorable performance as Erica’s daughter Patti. The mother-daughter scenes between her and Erica are especially rewarding. Michael Murphy (Martin) and Alan Bates (who plays an artist named Saul) add a lot to the film with their respective performances as well. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The 4K digital restoration provides a nice clean upgrade of this 70s film.

Audio Track: Uncompressed Mono. How does it sound? This is a solid Mono track, but boy is that Bill Conti score as cheesy as can be.

Extras:
* “An Unmarried Woman” trailer
* A booklet featuring credits and an essay by writer Angelica Jade Bastien.
* Newly recorded interviews with actor Michael Murphy and Lisa Lucas who talk about everything from Mazursky to “An Unmarried Woman.”
* A new 15 ½ minute interview with author Sam Wasson (who wrote “Paul On Mazursky”) who, of course, talks about Mazursky as a filmmaker.
* A 1980 audio recording of Paul Mazursky at the AFI.
* An insightful 2005 commentary with Paul Mazursky and Jill Clayburgh (both recorded separately) from 2 different POVs.

 

June 7, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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