This MPEG-4 AVC 1080p release is a lush Blu-ray. The color palette glistens. The vibrant colors of the 1960s come out in the clothing and interior design, as well as Hilly's bright red hair and her emerald green lawn, which fit her faux bright character very well. Black levels are solid and consistent too. Clarity is first rate throughout the disc, giving the visuals added depth. Lines and contours of the actresses' faces pop out. Digital anomalies are to a minimum. I noticed a little crush during darker scenes and some scenes were a slightly soft. Film grain levels were pretty light throughout.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is equal in quality to the superb picture. For a dialogue heavy film, the subtle ambiance is nicely done. Party scenes fill the soundscape with scuttlebutt and the LFE track gets some strong use during the severe storm scene. The balance between dialogue, score and sound effects is perfect. There is even some nice directionality as Skeeter races down the road in her family truck to make her date.
The special features are limited, but very solid. "The Making of The Help: From Friendship to Film" is a fascinating look at the friendships between many of those involved in the film and the book. Director Tate Taylor and author Kathryn Stockett were friends since high school and when her book became a best seller, she went to bat for her friend so he could adapt and direct the film. Additionally, Octavia Spencer was the real life inspiration for the novel's character that she plays in the film. It's quite inspiring to hear how the film came about.
"In Their Own Words: A Tribute to the Maids of Mississippi" is a touching talk with Mississippi maids and their perspective on the civil right movement and working in white homes during the period. Taylor even talks with the black woman who helped raised him. I'll admit it, it made me tear up.
There are also five deleted scenes included on the disc, which were mostly cut for time or redundancy. I agree with Taylor that the best scene cut was "A Senator's Son," because Allison Janney's reaction to a politician's son coming calling for her daughter is priceless.
The disc also includes the “The Living Proof” music video by Mary J. Blige.
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY (2011) (***1/2)Previous Post
LIFE, ABOVE ALL (2011) (***1/2)