Vincere [UK Release] Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
- Subtitles: English
- Region: AB
- Classification: 15
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Artificial Eye
- Blu-ray Release Date: September 13, 2010
- RRP: £19.99
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)
Marco Bellocchio creates a beautiful, almost operatic portrait with this biopic of Mussolini (Filippo Timi), his cast-off lover Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and her illegitimate son Benito Albino (also played by Timi).
In the film’s first act, we see a raging and ranting Benito Mussolini, socialist on the rise, and his lover Dalser, so devoted to the man that she sells off her business and furniture to help him purchase a fascist newspaper. Dalser becomes pregnant and Mussolini initially acknowledges his child, but eventually spurns Dalser and the boy. Refusing to give up and also claiming to have been legally married to Mussolini, despite his already having a wife and children, Ida Dalser continues down the path of pursuing her love and devotion to the dictator, which lands her locked away in mental institutions for years and kept away from her son.
Vincere starts off with a big bang of energy and is sustained throughout by Belllochio’s magical direction and the powerful performance by Mezzogiorno as Dalser who takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride of emotion, but the film does tail off once Dalser enters the madhouses. It becomes quite bogged down in the obsessive singular pursuit of this woman that, despite all the mistreatment sent her way, it is almost possible to see how she ended up in an institution.
Still, Bellocchio brilliantly turns the seduction of Dalser by Mussolini into a metaphor for his entire seduction of a nation and the eventual exposure of his caddish lies to one and to all plays out like proper payback for all the crimes committed. Vincere (Victory) is indeed a winner.
The 1.85:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encoding for Vincere from Artificial Eye looks quite film-like and clean with no issues pertaining to compression or post-processing. The grain structure remains intact, and it is a bit of grainy film. The biggest issue with the transfer is that blacks look somewhat washed out, but shadow detail is strong. Flesh tones are a bit pallid, but this is the nature of the production itself, which often shifts into drab tones.
The sole audio track, an Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is competent, but lackluster at best. The surround channels are rather dry throughout the film and high frequencies are harsh. Dialogue is clean and a few moments, such as during some rainstorms and war scenes, offer some opportunities for low frequencies to extend and the surround channels to liven up just a tad.
There is only a brief interview segment with the actor Filippo Timi (1.33:1; 720p/24; 0:10.29), who plays Benito Mussolini/ Benito Albino, and an original theatrical trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24) offered as supplements for this release.
The Definitive Word
Vincere is a gratifyingly triumphant film with unbelievably powerful performances by all of its leads. A biopic that refuses to kowtow at the feet of its larger-than-life historical characters and events, Vincere plays out like an opera and resonates in the mind and soul. The Blu-ray release from Artificial Eye could have been beefed up with some more bonus content and a better sounding mix, but the video transfer is on target.
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