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Chéri

review by Zach B.

 

 

MPAA Rating: R (For Sexual Content and Brief Drug Use)

Running Time: 93 Minutes

Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend, Felicity Jones and Kathy Bates

Written by: Christopher Hampton
Based on the novels by: Colette

Directed by: Stephen Frears 

 

Studio: Disney

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: The Making Of Chéri, Deleted Scenes 

Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Scene Selection (16 Scenes)

Released: October 20th, 2009


 

 

"Chéri" is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, and it's a pretty nice transfer overall. The image quality is a bit on the soft side, but the slight haziness actually gives the effect of looking into the past. The picture is a little grainy at times, but the picture quality is overly clean. Color saturation is decent if not quite bold, fleshtones are pretty good and detail is quite refined. There isn't much in the way of noise on the transfer, but there are edge halos and some edge enhancement. In all, this is not a perfect transfer, but it's more often pleasing to the eye than not. Well put together, for the most part. 

 

The English Dolby Digital 5.1 track works well, considering the content of the movie. There's plenty of talking throughout, so it's a relief that all the dialogue is very clear and easy to hear. Subwoofer use doesn't really exist, while discrete surrounds aren't quite plentiful — your standard sound effects, be it footsteps or an automobile engine are largely kept to the front. Fidelity is pretty good though, and the overall sonic landscape of the movie feels cozy and enclosed. The brightest spot of this mix is the sweet, chime-esque and even light score from Alexandre Desplat — it had a sizable presence throughout.

Subtitles in English, French and Spanish are also included.
 




The Making Of Chéri is a near 9 minute look at elements of the film (and in anamorphic widescreen, to boot). Writer Christopher Hampton and director Stephen Frears praise the writer Colette, and what made her writing stand out. The two briefly discuss how the project came to be, and the rest of the featurette touches upon the characters, casting, production design and costumes. Producer Bill Kenwright, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend and Kathy Bates also give their thoughts. I wish this was a bit more in-depth, but as it is, is a short and sweet watch.

Also on the disc are two Deleted Scenes in anamorphic widescreen. Don't get your hopes up for anything major: the first is a mere 17 seconds, and the other is a minute and 47 seconds. I don't think these additions would have killed the film or its pacing, but perhaps they are a little superfluous.
 

Art film lovers are sure to enjoy "Chéri," which re-unites many talents from "Dangerous Liaisons," including writer Christopher Hampton and director Stephen Frears. Hampton's script is well-stated, and Frears's direction is rather spot-on. Also making this film a small delight is the solid production design and film's performers, especially Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates and Rupert Friend. The presentation for the DVD is more than the decent, though the extras are slim. "Chéri" is bound for discovery on DVD, and makes for a worthy rental.