Working Girl
Fox
Review by Earl Cressey | posted April 7, 2001
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Graphical Version
Review:
Working Girl

Movie:
Working Girl, originally released theatrically in 1988, was directed by Mike Nichols. The film stars Harrison Ford (Jack Trainer), Melanie Griffith (Tess McGill), Sigourney Weaver (Katharine Parker), Alec Baldwin (Mick), and Joan Cusack (Cyn). Oliver Platt, Kevin Spacey, and David Duchovny, in his first film, also have small parts. The film also garnered six Oscar nominations, including Best Director, Best Actress (Griffith), Best Supporting Actress (Weaver and Cusack), and Best Picture. It only won one, however, for Best Music/Song.

Tess McGill is a struggling, but ambitious, secretary who's on her fourth job in only a few short months. She's placed through an agency at Petty-Marsh's mergers and acquisitions department under Katharine Parker. Katharine encourages Tess to come to her with any business ideas and Tess does – she proposes a brilliant idea that will alleviate their client's problems, but Katharine says that it won't work. Soon thereafter, Katharine breaks her leg skiing, and leaves Tess in charge, as she can't come home. Tess, while sifting through notes, finds out that Katharine had stolen her idea and claimed it for herself. Tess decides that she'll go on with her idea without Katharine and assumes her life; she attends social functions in Katharine's name and takes over her apartment, wardrobe, and office. She even meets with Jack, an investment banker, and the two of them formalize and propose her idea to her client…but will everything fall apart when Katharine suddenly returns home?

I had never seen Working Girl before, but I'm glad I finally had the chance to watch it. Even though its thirteen years old, I still found the film relevant for today's world. The actors all do a terrific job with their roles, especially Weaver, who seems nice and thoughtful at first, but soon reveals her dark side. Kevin Spacey, even though he was only in the film for a few minutes, was great in his part as well.

Picture:
Working Girl is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer is quite good, with only some light grain and a few specks. Colors are vibrant, flesh tones are natural and accurate, and blacks are decent. The film does seem to have a soft appearance though, which occasionally detracts from the detail.

Sound:
Working Girl is presented in its original Dolby 2.0 Surround track in English and French and a new Dolby 3.0 track in English. While I didn't notice a lot of differences in the 2.0 and 3.0 tracks, due to the film being dialogue heavy, the main difference is how the film's music sounds. In the 3.0 track, the music sounds much more full than in the 2.0 track, which sounds a bit muted in comparison. Dialogue in both tracks is crisp and clean with no distortion that I detected. Optional subtitles are available in English and Spanish.

Extras:
Extras include the teaser trailer, theatrical trailer, and three TV spots for this film, along with trailers for 9 to 5, For the Boys, Nine Months, The Truth About Cats & Dogs, and Norma Rae.

Summary:
Fox has given Working Girl a great transfer and a new Dolby 3.0 track that sounds better than the original. However, the lack of extras is rather disappointing. Still, fans will certainly want to add this one to the collection and for everyone else, its definitely worth a rental. Recommended!



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