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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • French DTS-HD 5.1 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Behind-the-scenes footage from the making of Fat Girl
  • Two interviews with director Catherine Breillat, one conducted the night after the film's world premiere at the 2001 Berlin Film Festival, the other a look back at the film's production and alternate ending
  • French and U.S. theatrical trailers

Fat Girl

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Catherine Breillat
Starring: , Roxane Mesquida, Libero de Rienzo, , Romain Goupil, Laura Betti
2001 | 86 Minutes | Licensor: Code Red Films

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $39.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #259
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: May 3, 2011
Review Date: May 4, 2011

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SYNOPSIS

Twelve-year-old AnaÔs is fat. Her sister, fifteen-year-old Elena, is a beauty. While the girls are on vacation with their parents, AnaÔs tags along while Elena explores the dreary seaside town. Elena meets Fernando, an Italian law student; he seduces her with promises of love, and the ever watchful AnaÔs bears witness to the corruption of her sister's innocence. Fat Girl (ņ ma soeur!) is not only a portrayal of female adolescent sexuality and the complicated bond between siblings but also a shocking assertion by the always controversial Catherine Breillat that violent oppression exists at the core of male-female relations.

Forum members rate this film 7/10

 

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

Criterion presents Fat Girl on Blu-ray in its original aspect ratio of about 1.85:1 on this dual-layer disc, presented in a new 1080p/24hz transfer.

The film looks striking on Blu-ray despite a couple of issues that Iím sure are more related to the shooting of the film or the source materials used. In general the picture remains consistently crisp and sharp with excellent detail but there are moments, primarily during long shots, where it gets very fuzzy around the edges and details get lost. The filmís colours are a little subdued and never really pop but theyíre rendered beautifully.

Grain is present but not overly heavy but, thanks a lot to the high bit rate Iím sire, it looks natural and never like noise. The print looks to be in excellent shape but thereís some pulsating visible here and there.

In the end it really does look good, offering a nice sharp upgrade from the DVD.

8/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

I remember being surprised by the DTS and Dolby Digital tracks on the DVD, both of which provided effective, subtle surround presentations. The Blu-rayís DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track yet again surprises me. The film as a whole is generally quiet but it manages to make effective use of the surround channels in some surprising ways. The nicest sequence would be the one that takes place at the beach where the waves come crashing in and surround you. The sound moves perfectly between the speakers and sounds so crisp and clean like you really are there.

Dialogue is clean and the trackís overall range is excellent. Volume levels are effective and this couldnít be presented any better than during the filmís final shock moment. Altogether a wonderfully effective presentation.

8/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Criterion ports everything over from their previous DVD edition, which isnít much in terms of quantity. Theyíre also not particularly good.

First is a rather useless Making of ďdocumentaryĒ running 5-and-a-half minutes, made up of brief interview clips and behind-the-scenes footage, as well as unedited footage from the film. Thereís a couple things Breillat says regarding how she works with the actors that may prove interesting if only because it makes it seem she has a certain contempt for them (further suggested by her comments in the other features found on this disc.) Though it shows brief footage of a deleted scene, which turns out to be an alternate ending, it really doesnít come off as anything more than a fluffy PR featurette.

Catherine Breillat talks about her film is a little better but not by much. Breillat talks about her characters in the film and prepping the actors for the roles. She then carries on more about what she hates about actors, specifically ones that want control over their parts, but she at least speaks fondly of her lead, AnaÔs Reboux. She then talks about editing and discovering new meanings to her film, which explains the alternate ending, shown here, that was shot and probably rightly not used. In all honesty I didnít find her comments on the characters and themes within the film particularly insightful and found them to be more superficial. The only real value is the presentation of the alternate ending.

The final feature is an interview with Catherine Breillat filmed after the premiere of Fat Girl at the 2001 Berlin International Film Festival. Here she kind of repeats some of the things said in the previous interviews found on this disc, particularly about the themes in the film and the characters and actors, but her comments about the comedy found in the nastier aspects of the film are intriguing as are comments that expand upon the relationship between the sisters. This interview runs 12-minutes.

The disc then closes with a fairly awful American theatrical trailer and a not-as-bad French trailer. Both are just over a minute long.

The booklet probably proves to be the strongest aspect of this edition, first presenting a decent essay by Ginette Vincendeau followed by a reprint of an interview with Breillat which is possibly the best interview with her to be found in the set. The booklet then concludes with a note by Breillat explaining the title and issues there were with translating it between languages.

The film is really such a polarizing one that it would truly benefit from some more analysis from film critics and scholars, but instead we get a few supplements with the director repeating some of the same statements over and over again about the her process and working with the actors, never offering much insight into her own film. In the end I could give or take just about everything on here.

3/10

CLOSING

The visual and audio presentation is probably the releaseís strongest selling point but the limp supplements really make it a hard edition to recommend to those that do appreciate the film.


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