Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Paramount Studios presents
Till Human Voices Wake Us (2001)

"We have lingered in the chambers of the sea,
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown."

- Dr. Sam Franks (Guy Pearce), reading from T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Review By: David Krauss   
Published: July 30, 2003

Stars: Guy Pearce, Helena Bonham Carter
Other Stars: Frank Gallacher, Lindley Joyner, Brooke Harmon, Peter Curtin
Director: Michael Petroni

MPAA Rating: R for (a scene of sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:36m:25s
Release Date: July 29, 2003
UPC: 097363413042
Genre: mystery

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ A-AB+ D-

DVD Review

Till Human Voices Wake Us draws its title from the last stanza of T.S. Eliot's well-known poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. And this little known, independent Australian film pays homage to its source with lush, lyrical images, a hauntingly romantic story, and a sparse screenplay filled with powerful underlying emotion. Slow-moving and, at times, painfully deliberate, Human Voices still casts a mesmerizing spell. Even when the story stalls or the pace drags, atmosphere and mood carry the film.

Sam Franks (Guy Pearce) is a successful, yet solitary, psychology professor tormented by memory fragments from his youth. When his father succumbs to a long illness, Sam returns to his boyhood home in the Australian countryside and begins to recall a fateful summer of discovery and despair. Distanced by his father's cold, stoic nature, young Sam (Lindley Joyner) cherishes the company of soul mate Silvy (Brooke Harmon). Their special friendship seems destined to blossom into love until tragedy severs their bond.

Or does it? As Sam travels by train to his father's funeral, he awakens from a doze to find a striking young woman named Ruby (Helena Bonham Carter) in his compartment. She seems familiar, but Sam can't make the connection. Then she vanishes. Later, during a driving rainstorm, he spots Ruby atop a bridge, poised for suicide. He rescues her from the river below, revives her, and cares for her in his home. Disoriented and vulnerable, Ruby enlists Sam's help in reconstructing her identity, yet the trail conjures up more suppressed memories of Sam's idyllic relationship with Silvy.

As they continue uncovering clues, the lives of Silvy and Ruby become further entwined, baffling Sam but intriguing and attracting him as well. Could Silvy and Ruby be one and the same? Or are the similarities simply a bizarre coincidence brought on by longing and regret?

A supernatural romance (with a bit of coming-of-age angst tossed in), Till Human Voices Wake Us seamlessly juggles its parallel stories. Both the present and the past possess an air of mystery and mysticism that clouds the characters' judgment. Even the title becomes a riddle, prompting the audience to wonder whose voice is waking whom. Is Sam waking the spirit of Silvy, or is Ruby waking a dormant Sam and helping to free him from the past?

Writer-director Michael Petroni lulls the audience with an almost eerie sense of quiet and introspection, luring us into the film and heightening our response to the characters' subtle ticks and gestures. Wisely favoring visuals over dialogue, his hypnotic style still grates in places, but the film's relatively brief 96-minute running time precludes it from becoming a bore.

Of course, the work of Pearce and Bonham Carter (as well as their younger counterparts) greatly enhances the understated filming. One of the most compelling and versatile actors making movies today, Pearce creates a complex, richly detailed portrait of the inwardly tortured Sam, relying on facial expressions and body language to convey his conflicting and confused emotions. Bonham Carter is equally fine, her dulcet speaking voice and fragile beauty adding a sensual earthiness to Ruby's ethereal presence.

Till Human Voices Wake Us shows we are shaped not only by the events in our lives, but how we choose to react to them. Freeing ourselves from the binding chains of memory can be painful, but this small, intimate film proves the resulting renewal is worth the difficult journey.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Paramount has done a stunning job transferring Till Human Voices Wake Us to DVD. From start to finish, the image quality is superb, with nary a speck or scratch marring the gorgeous cinematography. The razor sharp picture shows no sign of edge enhancement, details are crisp, contrast levels strong, flesh tones true and solid, and colors possess wonderful depth and richness. All these elements add greatly to the overall effect of the film, allowing total immersion in the story. A truly top-notch effort.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The DD 5.1 track possesses no flaws, but the film rarely takes advantage of the multiple channels. The surrounds are sparingly employed, although Amotz Plessner's tranquil score unobtrusively envelops. Other ambient sounds are quite subtle, to say the least, but Till Human Voices Wake Us is not the type of film that demands a booming audio track. Dialogue remains clear and comprehendible throughoutóquite an accomplishment, given that the actors either mumble or whisper most of the time and speak with Australian or British accents.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 14 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 TV Spots/Teasers
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Notorious for skimpy extras, Paramount remains true to form here, including only a brief teaser for a new Showtime TV series.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Till Human Voices Wake Us will certainly not appeal to all audiences. Its deliberate pacingówhich becomes downright dull at timesówill repel those unprepared for this type of film. But for viewers who enjoy textured characters, glorious cinematography and leisurely storytelling, Petroni's film is worthwhile and enriching. DVD buffs will especially appreciate the spectacular transfer.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store