04/23/2014  
Shelter Island on DVD May 13Pennsylvania Ballet at 50 on DVD May 13Flying Tigers & Home of the Brave on Blu-ray & DVD May 13Stalingrad on Two-Disc Blu-ray with 3D, DVD & Digital May 13The Dave Clark Five And Beyond: Glad All Over on DVD & Blu-ray May 13Longmire: Season 2 on DVD May 13Transformers Energon: The Complete Series on DVD May 6

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Shelter Island on DVD May 13...
Box Office Charts From Yahoo! Movies Apr 18- 20...
Pennsylvania Ballet at 50 on DVD May 13...
Lara Spencer Promoted to Co-Host on Good Morning Americ...
'Heaven Is For Real': The Reviews Are In ...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

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

20th Century Fox presents
Where the Heart is (2000)

"You tell them that our lives can change with every breath we take... and to hold on like hell to what they've got: each other, and a mother who would die for them and almost did...You tell them we've all got bad in us, but we've got goodness too. And the only thing worth living for is the good. And that's why we've got to make sure we pass it on."
- Novalee Nation (Natalie Portman)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: October 11, 2000

Stars: Natalie Portman, and Ashley Judd
Other Stars: Stockard Channing, James Frain, Joan Cusack, Dylan Bruno, and Sally Field
Director: Matt Williams

Manufacturer: DVCC
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for for intense thematic material, language and sexual content
Run Time: 01h:59m:38s
Release Date: September 26, 2000
UPC: 024543006343
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- BB+B+ C

DVD Review

Watching Where The Heart Is is a lot like playing a game of Mad Lib's. The plot line is there; you just have to figure out what tragedy happens when and how to brighten things up by throwing in a few happy moments here and there. But even with a screenplay that is all over the map this film works, due in large part to the performances of Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd.

Novalee Nation (Portman) is a seven-month pregnant teenager on the road from Tennessee to California with her boyfriend, Willy Jack Pickens. When they stop at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma so Novalee can take a bathroom break and buy some slippers, Willy Jack sees his chance to get away, leaving Novalee with absolutely nothing. Novalee, soon starts a new life in the community of Sequoyah, making friends with the good-natured Sister Husband (Channing) and spending time at the library, where she meets the librarian, Forney (Frain). Looking for a place to sleep, she hides out in Wal-Mart, where she soon feels at home, using the stores inventory to get by. Then she goes into labor, and, with the help of Forney, she gives birth to a healthy baby girl. When she wakes up she learns that she has become a celebrity and is befriended by her nurse, Lexie (Judd).

Where The Heart Is isn't shy of the fact that it is a "grade A" chick flick. In fact, the film revels in it. The film features two strong and independent female leads that deal with rotten men and rotten luck. It is to the credit of writers Lowell Gantz and Babaloo Mandel (working from a source material by Billie Letts), that the film never focuses too much attention on the problems in their lives. The biggest problem with their script, however, is that we are shown a completely useless side plot involving Novalee's slime of an ex boyfriend and his aspirations to become a country music star.

First time director Matt Williams does take a few missteps throughout the film, but for the most part this is a competent debut. Aside from the previously mentioned side plot, Williams never really ties the film together during the jumps in story. In one scene Novalee's young daughter Americus is seen as a toddler yet in the next she is nearly 5 years old. Showing a montage or even a slight voice over would have been nice to keep the story tidier.

With roles in previous films like The Professional, Beautiful Girls, Everyone Says I Love You, and The Phantom Menace Natalie Portman has proven herself a gifted actress. But it is with her role as Novalee that she really shines. Portman handles the many emotional changes of Novalee perfectly, and the result is the best performance of her already long career. Ashley Judd does a nice job as Lexie, showcasing in spots her own talent. James Frain (Reindeer Games) is good as Forney, and supporting parts by Stockard Channing, an unrecognizable Sally Field, and Joan Cusack are each done well.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: There isn't a lot to complain about with this 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer from Fox. Colors are spot on and the many scenes at night are done well, and with very little grain. Moments of slight softness and a bit of dirt on the print are noticeable, but luckily they are not always evident. Detail and sharpness are very good. A good effort from the folks at Fox.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English and Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Essentially a front heavy mix, the 5.1 Dolby Digital mix does come alive a few times in the film: rain pours in the rear speakers, and the appearance of a tornado halfway through the film provides good bass and a provide a nice example of separation in the rear speakers. Dialogue is always clear. The heavy use of country music shows up well in the left and right speakers. A Dolby 2.0 track is also provided.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 0 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 TV Spots/Teasers
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: Unknown

Extra Extras:
  1. That's The Beat of a Heart music video by The Warren Brothers and Sara Evans
  2. 30 second soundtrack promo
Extras Review: While not as heavy on the extras as some recent Fox releases, a few minor supplements are offered here. First up is the music video for the Warren Brother and Sara Evans single, That's The Beat Of a Heart. It's a nice song and a well done video. A TV spot, 30-second soundtrack promo and the film's original trailer round out the disc. (On a side note, since I am not a fan of country music if anyone can tell me who sings the song used to close out the trailer I would be greatly appreciative.)

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

Where The Heart Is is one of the better "chick flicks" of the past year. The performances by Portman and Judd make the movie all the better and the great transfer makes this disc hard to resist. If you are like me you have been avoiding this movie, but it is worth seeking out. Recommended.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


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

 





Covered California

Keywords

documentary, box office, movies, television, good morning america, abc, lara spencer, josh elliot, nbc sports, george stephanopolous, robin roberts, movie, heaven is for real, connor corum, greg kinnear, thomas haden, books, gabriel garcia marquez, nobel laureate, one hundred years of solitude, war, cannes film festival, grace of monaco, nicole kidman, kristen stewart, robert pattinson, maps to the stars, julianne moore, foxcatcher, the homesman, tommy lee jones, hilary swank, mrs. doubtfire, robin williams, fox 2000, chris columbus, david berenhaum, drama, brad pitt, general stanley mcchrystal, the operators, afghanistan war film, david michod, gone girl gillian flynn, ben affleck, rosamund pike, elvis costello, she, nine inch nails, trent reznor, atticus ross, gone girl's score, celebrity, ultimate warrior, james hellwig, wrestler, heart disease, world wrestling entertainment hall of fame, animation, hbo, game of thrones, jack gleeson, king joffrey baratheon, the purple wedding, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, shailene wookley, veronica roth, allegiant, divergent, insurgent, the croods, nicolas cage, joe, david gordon green, tye sheridan, late night, late show, david letterman, stephen colbert, comedy central, the colbert report, julia louis-dreyfus, seinfeld, heep, rolling stone magazine

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact