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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Lost and Delirious (US)
Lost and Delirious (US)
Trimark // R // December 11, 2001
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted December 19, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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The Movie:

It's rare that a performer suddenly blossoms these days, as it often seems like what you see is what you get from the first moment onwards. For actress Piper Perabo, that meant fair performances in "Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" and Jerry Bruckheimer's "Coyote Ugly". From her first dart from out behind a bookshelf that ends with the announcement, "Rage more!" to newcomer "Mouse"(Micha Barton), one can tell that this is a far different and far more lively performance than any of her prior works. She steals nearly every scene she's in.

The film opens with Mary (Barton) being whisked off to Perkins Girl's College in Montreal by her father and new stepmother, apparently, whether she wants to or not. ''I felt like a tiny gray mouse heading straight for the mouth of a cat,'' she says, in narration. Many sequences of the movie offer her narration as we get her perspective on the situation. Once there, she's given a room assignment with Victoria, called Tory (Jessica Pare), and Paulie (Piper Perabo). One night, Mary finds out that the two girls that she's rooming with are in love with one another - she accepts the love that the two have found with one another and the three become good friends.

Yet, when Paulie and Tory are discovered lying in bed with one another by Tory's sister, their world comes crashing down around them. Afraid of the consequences of being found out by her strict parents, Tory separates herself from Paulie, who is wounded by the sudden dismissal, as she doesn't care what anyone thinks of the love that has developed between her and Tory.

I'd previously mentioned how excellent Perabo's performance is, but she certainly isn't the only bright spot among the excellent cast. Pare, who was previously one of the few bright spots in the otherwise shrill "Stardom", is wonderful as well. There's a scene where she realizes that she's breaking apart with Paulie, even though she absolutely doesn't want to. Her tears, pain and hurt as she walks away after puting a spin on the situation are quietly devastating. Mary, quiet but intelligent and sensitive, realizes that her friendship can at least provide some comfort in a terrible time for both of her roommates. Barton's performance is subtle and powerful, even in the characters' quietest moments.

The film is not without some imperfections. A hurt bird becomes Paulie's friend during this time and the metaphor becomes a bit much. We already know that Paulie is a fierce, emotional person whose boundless energy and intensity are too great to be captured within four walls. A scene where Paulie challenges Tory's new boyfriend to a duel is also a bit much, but Perabo invests such perfect seriousness and gravity to the sequence that it works.

The reason why many likely weren't able to see "Lost and Delirious" in theaters was because the film apparently had to be released Unrated (making one think that it would have gotten an NC-17, otherwise). This seems rather odd, as there are only a couple of sequences that show both girls in bed together and the sequences are handled maturely. Of course, it's also no suprise that both girls, especially Pare (who played - believably - a supermodel in "Stardom"), look stunning during these sequences, especially one in particular. There isn't even that much cursing, either.

"Lost and Delirious" gets off the right track at a few moments, but the three leads deliver such superior performances that it's never too far from returning to impressive form. Respectfully handled, often stunningly performed and visually elegant, "Lost and Delirious" is a superbly haunting and often fierce romantic tragedy/drama that's well worth seeing.


VIDEO: A couple of weeks ago, I viewed the Canadian edition of "Lost and Delirious", which was released by Seville. That presentation offered a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen edition, as does this one, put out by Studio Home Entertainment. Both editions present enjoyable picture quality - each edition has its own flaws. Sharpness and detail on the Studio edition is minimally better and more consistent, with a picture that looks nicely defined and crisp, if only with a slight touch of softness that seems intentional.

Both editions have their own slight problems. The Seville edition showed a few more traces of pixelation than this one did, but it also seemed to be a bit cleaner, with a few less print flaws. Slight specks show up on both, but there were fewer on the Seville edition. The Studio edition also showed minor shimmering at a few points early on.

Colors appeared beautiful and attractive throughout the picture, as the rich greens of the trees outside looked bold and vibrant, while the blues that often were seen in the interiors came across as accurate and natural. Black level generally looked decent and flesh tones looked fine. Both editions looked the same in regards to color. Both the Seville and Studio releases have their own positives and negatives. The Seville edition showed a tiny bit more artifacts, but also didn't seem to have as many print flaws. The Studio edition seemed to offer a slightly smoother picture, but also showed a bit more wear.

SOUND: "Lost and Delirious" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 on the Studio Edition. The Seville release includes additional English and French 2.0 tracks. The film provides enjoyable audio quality, but it doesn't provide much activity. The majority of the audio is dialogue-driven and comes from the center channel. The score and songs come nicely from the main front speakers. Surrounds rarely came in, but they did provide rare reinforcement of the music and some slight ambience. Dialogue remains clear and crisp. Both editions sound the same.

MENUS:: The Seville edition has non-animated menus with the score in the background. The Studio release has simpler, non-animated menus using different film-themed images.

EXTRAS: The Seville edition has a short, but good, featurette, trailer and photo gallery. The Seville edition would have also had a commentary, but due to scheduling conflicts, it did not appear on that release. This Studio edition only has the trailer.

Final Thoughts: One edition of "Lost and Delirious" does not offer a considerably better overall package than the other. Simply, it's a terrific film - one of the best that I've seen this year - and is recommended. Whichever is more convienient, the US (Studio) or Canadian (Seville), this is a film with marvelous performances that should be seen.

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