Sarah’s Key Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: PG-13
- Run Time: 111 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment/The Weinstein Company
- Blu-ray Release Date: November 22nd, 2011
- List Price: $39.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Sarah’s Key tells the story of Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas), an American journalist living in Paris with her husband Bertrand (Frederic Pierrot). Her latest assignment finds her covering the anniversary of France’s notorious 1942 Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup of Jews during World War II. It’s during this that she discovers that Bertrand’s apartment has held a secret for some 60+ years. It turns out that his apartment was the scene of an unspeakable crime, one of which will make Julia question what’s more important. Living the past as it is? Or revealing the truth? What results is a film akin to that of Schindler’s List in that the film is incredibly powerful.
The real power of Sarah’s Key comes not necessarily from the plot itself, as there have been countless World War II films, more the lasting impact comes from the idea behind the plot, the question of what would you do if you found a deep, dark secret about the past. Would you immediately reveal the truth for a sense of keeping your integrity? Or would you let the past be the past for fear of resurrecting any demons? That’s the issue Julia must figure out, and boy does the film execute this struggling decision with pure brilliance.
Simply put, Sarah’s Key is a well made film with performances (especially that of Thomas) that make the impact just that much more powerful. Also of note is the film’s score by Max Richter, which is haunting in some sequences yet subtle and calm in others; the kind of music that completes the whole package. This one is definitely worth checking out for those looking for another fine WWII film.
The 2:35:1 framed, AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer is quite the impressive transfer. Shot using the Red One camera, the film’s color palette helps to capture the essence of the film. Whether it be the bold, rich, saturated colors like blues and whites or the darker blacks, all the film’s colors dominate and look fantastic. Contrast levels, either in the current time or the past, all look accurate. Detail is excellent throughout, particularly that of exterior shots and facial closeups. Textures are spot on as you can make out little fibers on pieces of clothing. Being shot digitally, there isn’t any film grain to speak of. Truly this is a fine effort from Anchor Bay.
The film’s provided DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is equally as good as the aforementioned video. Dialogue is well reproduced throughout via the center channel. In particular, I found that even the utmost background dialogue sounded great. Atmosphere, quite surprising I might add, is excellent. Whether the flashback moments on the train or the present moments all sounded great. Dynamics are effective throughout, especially those of the aforementioned train sequence. Here, as German soldiers board the train, items like background music/effects all work together to add a sense of tension to the scene. All in all, this is quite the fine effort from Anchor Bay.
The provided supplements are shown in SD:
- The Making of Sarah’s Key – This runs a bit over 1 hr in length and is quite the informative documentary. Billed as a making of, this glances into a wide range of topics that include production, casting, screen tests and the like. This is an essential extra for fans of the film.
The Definitive Word
Sarah’s Key may not be for everyone, but for those interested in World War II, this one is definitely worth investing some time into. Anchor Bay has brought the film to Blu-ray with excellent video, fine audio and one great feature. Highly Recommended!
Additional Screen Captures
Tags: 1080p/24, Anchor Bay, AVC/MPEG-4, Canal, Dominique Frot, Drama, DTS-HD Master Audio, Frederic Pierrot, Kristin Scott Thomas, Melusine Mayance, Michel Duchaussoy, Niels Arestrup, Screen Captures, The Weinstein Company, War