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Lore [UK] Blu-ray Review

lore-uk-blu-ray-coverUnited-Kingdom-Flag-Orb-Icon-32px

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), German LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: B (Region-Locked)
  • Certificate: 15
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 105 Mins.
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 27, 2013
  • List Price: £19.99

 –

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

 

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

 Lore-UK-BD_01

Lore is director Cate Shortland’s complex and meditative adaptation of author Rachel Seiffert’s World War II novel. It’s a haunting and detailed portrait of post war devastation as well as the collapse of youthful idealism when confronted with the harsh realty of facts. Shortland’s direction is like a visual poem that is made all the more resolute and powerful by the strong performances of young actors Saskia Rosendahl and Kai Malina.

It’s 1945, Adolf Hitler is dead and the Allied Forces are advancing across Germany seeking out Nazi war criminals as the “final victory” slips from the nation’s grasp. Lore watches her mother leave down a lonely garden path to go face war crimes charges with her father. She is left with the responsibility of carrying her two younger brothers, her younger sister, and baby brother to safety through the Black Forest to their grandmother’s house.

Their journey takes them through what is a tattered and broken nation disillusioned by the defeat of war and in denial over the exposed truths of the holocaust. With the many dangers facing them, Lore and her young siblings find aid in the unlikeliest of places. A young Jewish man named Thomas (Malina) comes to their rescue and helps them make their way through the dangerous forest. It forces Lore and her siblings to confront the ideas they were indoctrinated with during their time in Nazi Youth Camp.

Even as the film’s at times disjointed narrative plays out, it somehow works effectively to tell the tale of a country broken after a prolonged war. The complex social issues being discussed in Lore are handled so masterfully, that the film, from beginning to end, keeps us truly enraptured, saddened, and empathetic, even in the most confounding of moments. One scene in particular when a group of German refugees confronted with images from Nazi internment camps deny the evidence as propaganda serves to remind us both that the country was filled with some who truly believed and some who truly had no choice.

The overriding feeling, however, about Lore, is the absolute sense of an end of innocence, as we see Lore, the character, slowly begin to lose the belief in the ideals she was so strictly taught to believe in. We are never quite sure if she has truly lost her faith, however, until the film’s very closing scene, which to some may seem perplexing, but which can be taken as a rejection of all the fake etiquette that society has imposed upon her up until that point.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Lore-UK-BD_02

Lore was shot on various slow to high-speed 16mm (Super 16) film stocks (Kodak Vision2 50D 7201, Vision2 200T 7217, Vision3 500T 7219) on Arriflex 16 SR3 and 416 cameras. This AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Artificial Eye does the best it can given the lower resolution of the 16mm format, and the results are more than acceptable, at times rather stunning, but do often push into the realm of noise. Overall, however, it looks film-like and organic, with a good bit of texture on close-ups and quite a bit of detail extension into mid-level and background shots.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Lore-UK-BD_03

German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) and LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtracks are supplied. The 5.1 track is very subtle, to say the least, with a little atmospheric effects in the surrounds and very subtle panning across the fronts. The 2.0 sounds a bit more congested and forward, but works effectively nonetheless. Both provide clean dialogue and an airy sounding score from composer Max Richter.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

Lore-UK-BD_04

Only a couple of brief featurettes are supplied, including an interview with the director and a very short Making of.

The supplements:

  • Interview with Director Cate Shortland (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:13:31)
  • Making Of (1.78:1; 1080i/50; 00:16:03)
  • Trailer (1.85:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Lore-UK-BD_05

From soft light flowing through windows, close-ups on porcelain fawns, or a wipe across Lore’s grungy feet, Shortland finds little details in this beautifully captured film, this rather complex, and dramatic coming of age post-war drama, that makes it so lush, and enrapturing that it gets right down into your soul. Lore is one of the best films I have seen on Blu-ray so far this year. This one is a must-see.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

 

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