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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Lost and Delirious
Lost and Delirious
Seville Pictures // Unrated // December 11, 2001
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Videoflicks]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted November 27, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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: Seville presents "Lost and Delirious" in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is the first release from Seville that I have reviewed and, more often than not, I was pleased with the results of their work. Sharpness and detail are generally pleasant, as the picture looked crisp and satisfying, but not exceptionally well-defined. Of course, this could also have been an intentional element of Pierre Gill's otherwise gorgeous cinematography.

There are a few minor concerns that I had throughout the film. A couple of light specks on the print used were seen on occasion, but I really didn't think too much of them, as they were brief and not particularly distracting in any way. Some minor instances of grain are seen and this gave one or two dimly lit sequences a slightly digital look, but again, this wasn't a major concern. Only a few slight traces of pixelation were seen and I didn't see any instances of edge enhancement.

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. Not without a few minor imperfections, but for a small studio like Seville, this is a fine effort.

SOUND: "Lost and Delirious" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as English and French 2.0. 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.

MENUS:: Although the menus are not animated, they are nicely designed and easily navigated, also using the score in the background of the main menu. Also, Seville has done a nice job with the box art; although there's not an insert, the outer cover is professional looking and the features are even displayed in a grid on the back. The only error: the back of the box says that the film is pan & scan when it is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen.

EXTRAS: Although there was a commentary by director Lea Pool planned, it apparently didn't work out due to scheduling conflicts. Included are a nicely done and enjoyably detailed & honest 8 minute featurette, photo gallery and full-frame/2.0 trailer.

Final Thoughts: "Lost and Delirious" is a haunting and occasionally devastating romantic drama and succeeds largely due to the stellar performances of the three lead actresses. Those who didn't think much of Perabo after "Coyote Ugly" will almost certainly have their minds changed by this effort. Seville has done a nice job with this DVD effort, as they've provided enjoyable audio/video quality and a few nice supplements. Recommended.

Note: This is a Canadian edition release, which is a Region 1 edition - but, it needs to be imported. A US release, by Studio Home Entertainment, has been announced for 12/11/01. Whether or not that edition will have the same features or presentation is yet to be seen, but a review of that edition will also be done around the release date.

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