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Studio: E1 Entertainment
Year: 2011
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis, Jonathan Raggett, Jonathan Woodhouse
Director: Luc Besson
Release Date: October 02, 2012
Rating: R for (violence including some bloody images)
Run Time: 02h:12m:28s
Genre(s): drama

“Anthony, you know as well as I do, if she ever leaves Burma, they will never allow her to return.” - Michael Aris (David Thewlis)


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On the surface, it's difficult to believe that this is a Luc Besson film. I've repeatedly read over the cover and the booklet inside, and I still don't see anything that suggests Besson's involvement. This mystery, alone, makes this a must-see in my book.

Movie Grade: B-

DVD Grade: B

French filmmaker Luc Besson is best known for science fiction films like the blockbuster The Fifth Element. At first glance, his sitting in the director’s chair for a biopic like 2011’s The Lady might seem a bit odd. However, his underrated work on The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc suggests that he might be the right guy to tackle the story of Aung San Suu Kyi (Michelle Yeoh), an often forgotten political activist who lived for many years under house arrest in her native country of Burma, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. The Lady makes its way to Blu-ray courtesy of Cohen Media Group, and the results are a gorgeous video transfer, powerful audio track, but, unfortunately short list of extras.

The Lady is far from perfect, with many of its faults stemming from a rather sloppy screenplay that simply features far too many lulls that cause the film to slog along too much. After a rather bloody opening sequence, we’re left with rather standard biopic fare, but the forced long-distance relationship between the tale’s two protagonists is engaging enough in spurts. Besson is fine as the director here, but far from at the top of his game. Still, he does a great job capturing some truly beautiful locations and seems to have a nice rapport with his excellent cast. That cast is the main reason to seek out The Lady, with Yeoh leading the way, and giving a strong, sympathetic performance throughout. David Thewlis (Naked), as Aung San Suu Kyi’s husband, Michael Aris is superb here, giving one of the best performances of his solid career, and the supporting players, including youngsters Jonathan Raggett and Jonathan Woodhouse do fine work as well.

The Lady appears in its original 2.40:1 aspect ratio, via a 1080p transfer that, amongst other things, utilizes well- rendered colors, exemplary contrast and shadow levels, and crystal clear images, to showcase cinematographer Thierry Arbogast’s rendering of the gorgeous Thailand locations. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is just as impressive, offering a consistently enveloping experience that adds a great deal of heft to even the slowest, most dialogue-filled set pieces. Fortunately, this dialogue is always crystal clear, easy to understand, and well- integrated into the rest of the overall mix. The only extras are a rather comprehensive, 27-minute, making-of piece, and the trailer for The Lady.

Posted by: Chuck Aliaga - October 5, 2013, 10:34 am - DVD Review
Keywords: burma, regime, devotion

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