The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover
VHS + DVD + Blu-ray
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audio in italianoin un elegante ristorante gestito dal cuoco francese richard si reca ogni giorno a mangiare il volgare e feroce bandito albert, con i suoi scagnozzi e la moglie georgina. quest'ultima si innamora di un solitario avventore che di mestiere fa il bibliotecario: i due diventano amanti. nonostante la protezione di richard, che aiuta in tutti i modi i due amanti, albert si vendica atrocemente, ma la risposta di georgina e' altrettanto spietata.
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First of all, this is a region-free Blu-ray.
This disc has one little odd quirk. In order to play the main feature, one must hit the "enter" button on the Blu-ray remote while the pop up menu is up. It will abruptly skip over to the film. Took me a few minutes to figure this out - very frustrating at first, but I was relieved when I solved this little issue. Spanish subtitles are optional, and can be turned off during the film.
Picture: 3.5/5: Not a picture perfect transfer, but the best print that I have seen as of yet. Not bad at all.
Sound: 3/5: A 2.0 Dolby Digital track. Good enough for me. Sometimes, the track sounds a bit cluttered, and I wish that this disc had English subtitles, as some the accents are a bit thick in some places.
All in all, this Blu-ray is recommended. Hopefully, Criterion will give us a proper region A release at some point, but for now, this should do just fine for serious fans of the film!
The production is flawless. Each cast member is matched perfectly to each part: a wry, clever, wise Cook (Bohringer), a violent, unpleasant, loud Thief (Gambon), a suffering quiet Wife (Mirren) and a discrete Lover (Howard). Look also for a young Tim Roth playing his usual delinquent role. The photography is carefully planned, right down to the red water melons with green rinds split open on the cutting table. All the kitchen shots look like masterful 19th century still life paintings. There are interesting visual tricks: the costumes change color as the characters move from the dining room (red) to the kitchen (green).
But be warned, this is not a pleasant movie. The film begins and ends with two unmentionable scenes. The thief insults his wife throughout the movie and it's soon difficult not to cringe at the sight of him. There is spitting and graphic vomiting. Make sure you've eaten some time before seeing this. And don't plan a dinner aftewards; you'll be too dizzy.