a heartfelt story about the complex lives of several women who
live inside the small Louisiana town of Chinquapin. This is a
story about these characters uniquely important relationships and
all about the connection between the characters as they develop as
people. The story around the film is almost a side-product of the
development of the characters as we get to better understand an
incredible group of women with different personalities, life
goals, aspirations, and directions in life as they unite around
several important events, including the wedding of Shelby Eatenton
released in theaters 23 years ago. This detail seems difficult to
makes this hard to understand is the fact that few melodramatic
films have been in the same league of quality filmmaking in over two decades. There has
been a lack of any reasonable competition. Steel Magnolias remains one of the
ultimately be a film about love and the spirit of human
connections. It's a movie that makes viewers reflect on characters
who feel real and who you can connect to. The best in
cinema emphasizes this element above all else. As we get to become
familiar with the characters the story focuses in on we can see
reflections in the flowing stream of our own life direction,
connection, and intermingled unity with others. Steel Magnolias
provides a sense of compelling character study a modern
melodramatic film would struggle to convey adequately.
film manages to remain a modern classic with appropriate direction
by Herbert Ross, a intelligent script written by Robert Harling
(the author of the original play the film is based upon), and a
massive number of superb performances by the cast of actresses
including Sally Field, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly
Parton, Julia Roberts, and Shirley MacLaine. These elements were
necessary aspects which contributed to the long-term love Steel Magnolias has maintained.
characters are entirely fascinating. You have a mother character
who at first glance seems cold but who is actually someone who
just wants to look out for her own diabetic daughter (who is
planning on going ahead with a pregnancy despite receiving advice
to not attempt such a thing). There's
a shy and Christian-belief led girl who wants to extend her
religion to those around her: not because she thinks it makes her
a better person (or even that everyone needs to follow her
beliefs) but because her belief is something that helped her
during difficult times. There's even a cranky lady who goes around
wearing a negative emotion on her shoulders at almost every turn -
except when we see that she is really just the sweetest lady there
is (if you can look past her cold states and occasionally bizarre
then we have characters like Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton), who is as
sweet as a warm blanket to everyone else that is around her and
exuding joy and kindness.
best thing about this film is the acting and characterizations.
You might feel hard-pressed to find another film with as many
talented actresses working together in perfect unison; none
outshine the other actresses, and all contribute to the overall
impact felt by the film. It makes Steel Magnoliasirresistible. It's
easy to love the characters and the actresses who successfully
helped make them convincing.
no wonder Steel
a loyal following: it's a worthwhile movie in every filmmaking
aspect and few Hollywood productions have a female cast that
parallels the fine work from the actresses who spotlighted Steel Magnolias,
who brought these characters to life, who made them believable,
and all incredibly relatable to audiences. If you haven't seen Steel Magnolias before, you're
missing out on a significant film and a gem of the late eighties.
Make no mistake about it: this film is one of the best in
received a great presentation from Twilight Time. The company
has done a solid job of presenting the film in a way that seems
to be unfiltered and without annoying side-effects like DNR
(Digital Noise Reduction) or unnatural boosted colors. The film
has a fine layer of film grain I thought was unobtrusive:
mostly, the film looks clean, clear, and beautiful without
having the waxy look that could have spelled disaster for the
transfer. The color palette is appropriate and true to the film
and isn't muted.
just appreciate it when studios release films on Blu-ray with
such high quality that it feels as though you are probably
seeing the film in the best quality since the opening weekend of
theatrical release. Some occasional moments of film print specks
(minor debris) are noticeable if you are nitpicky about this
release, but most viewers won't even notice these moments --
minor imperfections in what is an almost entirely flawless
presentation. This is a top-notch MPEG-4 AVC encoded 1080p
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is much better than I anticipated.
Granted, the film basically sticks to its stereo roots and it
doesn't sound engaging in terms of directionality of the rear
speakers but the real strength can be found in the way the bass
surrounds the beautiful score by Georges
Delerue (one of cinema's finest composers), the clarity of the
dialogue, and the sharpness of the front speakers. The audio
presentation is more than adequate. Steel Magnolias sounds lovely and
shows advantages the film hadn't presented before with the earlier
compressed audio incarnations.
are provided in English SDH (for the deaf and hard of hearing).
extras seem to be the course for most of these Twilight Time
releases. However, a small handful of nice audio-only
supplemental inclusions make nice additions to the release.
Viewers can choose to listen to Steel Magnolias with Director's
Commentary (presented in DTS 2.0) or with an isolated score
track that preserves the score with 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio.
Time has also included the original theatrical trailer and a
printed booklet with an essay about the film.
up even better than the latest collector's steelbook available on
the market. Pun intended. By the way, no, this doesn't come packaged in a
steelbook. Though it would have been quite cool if it had! (Are
you listening, Twilight Time? Steelbook Steel Magnolias!)
Twilight Time's given the film weak cover art, great PQ/AQ, and a
small selection of audio-only extras.
release is certainly worth purchasing for those who love the film
already, even despite an annoying, bland, and badly done cover
Magnoliasis a classically delicious slice of American
cinematic pie and with notable reason: It's a heartfelt story that is all
about humanity and our human connections.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.