In A Better World
review by Zach B.
MPAA Rating: R (For Violent and Disturbing Content Some Involving Preteens, and For Language)
Running Time: 118 Minutes
Starring: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Ulrich Thomsen, Willian Johnk Juel Nilsen, Markus Rygaard
Screenplay by: Anders Thomas Jensen
Story by: Susanne Bier Anders Thomas Jensen
Directed by: Susanne Bier
Retail Price: $45.95
Features: Audio Commentary with Director Susanne Bier and Editor Pernille Bech Christensen, Interview with Susanne Bier, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer
Widescreen 1080p High Definition, Danish DTS-HD Master Audio
5.1, French DTS-HD 2.0, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Scene Selections (16 Scenes), Two-Disc Set
Released: August 30th,
In A Better World
is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer, in the original
theatrical aspect ratio
of 2.35:1. Aside from slight shimmering now and then, this is an
astounding transfer. The picture quality has a tremendous amount of
depth, bolstered by deep blacks, accurate fleshtones and phenomenal
detail. Color saturation is remarkably rich, vivid and plump — all
without bleeding. The yellows and arid climate of the Sudan setting
stand out the most, while the more familiar looking locations of the
Denmark town have a polished realism to them. This is a sharp and vivid
transfer — eye-popping, even. For a character drama, I think some of
you might be surprised with what's here.
In A Better World
is presented with a Danish DTS-HD Master Audio mix in 5.1. This movie
has plenty of talk, and in that respect, all the dialogue sounds crisp
and sharp. The musical cues, courtesy of Johan Soderqvist, have an
ominous and quiet power through the channels. There are some discrete
surrounds, which also make good use of the subwoofer. Certain scenes in
Sudan come to mind, as does a certain tragic act later on in the movie.
This is a well-honed and balanced mix that captures the film's stark
A French DTS-HD 2.0 mix is also on the disc, as are subtitles in English and French.
Kicking things off is an Audio Commentary with Director Susanne Bier and Editor Pernille Bech Christensen.
The two are long-time collaborators and have an easy rapport, but this
is can be a dry track. Bier and Christensen talk about their respective
crafts and working relationship, and do offer thoughts on shaping the
movie and playing with audience expectations. There are technical
details, but also discussions involving the actors, story and
characters. It covers quite a bit, but oly those who loved the movie
should give it a listen.
Better is the nearly-16 minute Interview with Susanne Bier.
Prompted by an interviewer, Bier talks about where the idea of the film
stemmed from, its heavy themes and characters. She also talks about her
feelings about "message movies," work methods and collaborators (namely
her writer, Anders Thomas Jensen). Bier comes off a lot more passionate
here than on her commentary. As a result, this is a pretty engrossing
Seven Deleted Scenes in
non-anamorphic widescreen are included. No context are provided for why
these scenes were cut, but some clearly don't belong and others would
have slowed down the pace of the movie. They last nearly 14 minutes
when taken together.
Finally, the film's Theatrical Trailer is included, as well as a DVD copy of the film.
There was some debate over In A Better World winning the Best Foreign Film Oscar this year. Despite preferences some had for other contenders, it should be noted that In A Better World is
a good, resonant film. This Blu-ray features some informative
supplements, and a gorgeous presentation. If you are a foreign film
fan, then this is a must see.