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Lions Gate presents
Lost and Delirious (2001)

"I would be lost without you P."
- Victoria (Jessica Pare)

Review By: Kevin Clemons  
Published: January 17, 2002

Stars: Piper Perabo. Jessica Pare, Mischa Barton
Other Stars: Jackie Burroughs, Mimi Kuzyk, Graham Greene
Director: Lea Pool

Manufacturer: FMDVD
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for strong sexual content, language
Run Time: 01h:43m:07s
Release Date: December 11, 2001
UPC: 658149790124
Genre: drama

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B A-B+A- C

DVD Review

If I remember correctly, the first time I ever felt the presence of love in my life I was a bit frightened by it. I felt a certain uneasiness, not quite sure what it was that was coming over me. I will spare the details and only say that it stands as a moment in my life that while admittedly a bit juvenile, is something I will never forget. I sometimes find myself wishing I could go back and rediscover what the first feeling of love brings to a person. How one can grow stronger and more passionate about every aspect in life just because of that one feeling.

I bring up this point because never before have I seen a film that handles the subject of young love better than Lea Pool's Lost and Delirious. Here is a film that seems to reach beyond the trappings of other teenage love stories (i.e., She's All That,) and craft characters that are smart, charismatic and most importantly as scared of love as any real life teen.

Mary Bradford (Barton), is an incoming freshman at a prestigious all girls school in Quebec. At first she seems distracted from the outside world as her mother has passed away and her new stepmother is sending her off to boarding school. Once there she meets her two senior roommates, Pauline (Perabo) and Victoria (Pare), each of whom seems more than willing to make Mary feel more comfortable. The three share issues with their family: Mary with her stepmother; Pauline not knowing her birth mother; Victoria who lives in fear of what her parents will think of her actions. Each of their lives becomes all the more complex with Mary's discovery that Pauline and Victoria are involved in a lesbian relationship. As Mary becomes more accepting of the liaisons her roommates share she still acts as if she were oblivious.

All of this changes when Pauline and Victoria are discovered in bed together by a group of students, and word quickly spreads through the school of their relationship. For Pauline this is fine as she is deeply in love with Victoria, though Victoria's emotions are a bit more complex. Because of her socially conservative parents she pronounces the rumors untrue and ultimately hurts Pauline. As the film moves toward its surprising climax each character discovers something about love they didn't know existed.

On the surface the plot for Lost and Delirious may seem more like the type of film the plays late at night on Cinemax. Thankfully, Pool makes the sexual situations secondary to the plot development; the love scenes between Pauline and Victoria are handled with class and even a certain amount of dignity. Credit screenwriter Judith Thompson (adapting the novel The Wives Of Bath by Susan Swan) with crafting such interesting and complex characters that I didn't think for a moment that the love story was between two women as much as between two loving people.

Aside from the script and direction, perhaps the greatest achievement in Lost and Delirious is the cast. Piper Perabo's performance as Pauline is absolutely exemplary. It may be that because her most recent performances were in Coyote Ugly and Rocky and Bullwinkle that her work here is so surprising, but there is no denying that this is a gifted performance. There is a sense of nearly every emotion in her work here, from anger to laughter and beyond, proving that Perabo is an actress to watch. Equally talented are both Barton and Pare, whose chemistry helps build on their wonderful performances.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Lost and Delirious boasts a transfer that while well done is not without a few minor problems. Colors are wonderfully rendered, with the lush exteriors of the school offering a striking image with the lush greens and blues. The image does at times appear a bit soft, though this occurs in early morning scenes so this may well have been intentional. Sharpness and detail as well as black levels are especially well done, and no moments of edge enhancement are noticeable.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: As with other dramatic films, the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not fantastic, but for the material it is very well done. Dialogue sounds crisp and clear with no moments where it is hard to hear or distorted. The surround speakers are active with the numerous selections of music throughout the film. In one scene the subtle guitar of musician Ani DiFranco sounds wonderful as its envelopes the room.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English and Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring All Over The Guy and Better Than Chocolate
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The trailer for Lost and Delirious is presented, though watching it before the film may make one think that the film is a thriller rather than an expertly crafted love story. Trailers for All Over The Guy and Better Than Chocolate can be found by clicking on the Lions Gate icon on the main menu.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

I greatly enjoyed Lost and Delirious as a welcome escape from the garbage that litters the teen love story landscape. Finding the disc may prove a difficult task as I have yet to see it on the shelves in my city, but for those lucky enough to come across the film, consider yourself lucky.


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