Blu-ray Review: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston Star in Stunning ‘The Deep Blue Sea’

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CHICAGO – “The Deep Blue Sea” is a beautiful film. It is a master class in visual storytelling combined with deep, emotional performances of the kind that we too rarely see in cinema. A couple of times a year, a film critic will admit to an error. I was simply wrong in my first review of “The Deep Blue Sea,” when it was in theaters. I liked the film then but had reservations about its tone. On second viewing, this excellent drama is much better than I first believed. Blu-ray rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Even the opening scenes have a confidence that I feel like I didn’t appreciate fully the first time. There’s no dialogue for the first seven and a half minutes as director Terence Davies uses visual storytelling to reveal emotional depth. And then he breaks that silence with a line that really sets the stage for the life-changing passion that will define the film — “I really mean it. It’s not just a line. I really think you’re the most attractive girl I’ve met.

What a great line. And it comes from a great actor, Tom Hiddleston, who delivers it to someone who fits the description, the luminous Rachel Weisz. These two actors are simply among the best of their generations and their work in “The Deep Blue Sea” is some of the best of the year. I appreciated that in my first review but the Blu-ray illuminates the filmmaking above and beyond the performance level. The HD transfer is interesting in that it doesn’t over-polish what is often a low-lit, sometimes purposefully grainy film (Florian Hoffmeister’s cinematrogaphy is pitch perfect). “The Deep Blue Sea” wouldn’t look right with too much sheen and shine. The Blu-ray for “Deep” isn’t perfect for HD but perfect for the film, which is far more important. The release comes with a stellar collection of special features, including a great essay by esteemed Chicago film critic Scott Tobias of The Onion. This is one of the best dramatic Blu-ray releases of the season.

The Deep Blue Sea was released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 24, 2012
The Deep Blue Sea was released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 24, 2012
Photo credit: Music Box Films

Master chronicler of post-War England Terence Davies directs Rachel Weisz as Hester Collyer, the wife of an upper-class judge (Simon Russell Beale) and a free spirit trapped in a passionless marriage. Her encounter with Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), a troubled former RAF pilot, throws her life into turmoil, as their erotic relationship leaves her emotionally stranded and physically isolated.

Special Features:
o Collector’s Booklet
o Audio Commentary
o Interviews With Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston
o Terence Davies’ Master Class
o Realizing The Director’s Vision

“The Deep Blue Sea” stars Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, and Simon Russell Beale. It was adapted and directed by Terence Davies. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 24, 2012. content director Brian Tallerico

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