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Two of Us, The

Sony Pictures // Unrated // May 29, 2018
List Price: $30.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted July 19, 2018 | E-mail the Author


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The Two of Us Blu-ray Review


The Two of Us is an award winning foreign
language drama
which focuses on the departure of a young Jewish child who goes off to
live
with an older couple in another city in order to survive the atrocities
of the
time. Separated from both of his parents, the boy must come to live a
new life.
Executive produced by Paul Cadeac (Le Rapace), this is a
dramatic examination
of false barriers in life.


The young boy, Claude (Alain Cohen), style=""> starts to experience his life growing up under
the care of the elder Pepe (Michel Simon), who becomes his father
figure. The
film focuses on the boy's growing friendship with Pepe. The two become
almost inseparable
and spend much time together in laughter and friendship.


Yet there is also an undercurrent of darkness to
this story.
What Pepe doesn't realize is that the boy he is looking after is
Jewish. Pepe
is a strong anti-semite and would (if his views are to be believed)
hate the
boy solely based on his Jewish background. The film is a melancholy
look at discrimination
and the thin line between people: for the similarities between people
of different
cultures and backgrounds is actually less separate than some would like
to
believe.


The film has an excellent music score composed by
the
brilliant Georges Delerue (Day for Night, Jules and Jim).
Delerue
is one of the best film composers of foreign cinema and this score is
no
exception to that rule. The music is the most affecting and essential
element
of this film in my estimation. The score is haunting, beautiful, and
memorable.


The cinematography by Jean Penzer (Buffet Froid)
is
impressively lit with strong black and white photography highlighting
the tone.
The Two of Us has a solemn aspect behind its photography. There
are many
sequences with noteworthy cinematography.


The screenplay by Claude Berri and Gerard Brach (The
Name
of the Rose
, Frantic) is one which tells it's sad tale
while emphasizing
humanity as a core value.  Directed by
Claude Berri ( who made the brilliant Jean de Florette and Manon
of
the Spring
- both of which I also href="https://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/67255/jean-de-florette-manon-of-the-spring/?___rd=1">reviewed),
tells the tale with as much spirit for the situation these characters
are in as
one can.


The film is aiming to make a statement about the
flaws in
anti-semite discrimination and it does so well. If the film has any
major flaw,
it's that it also wants the audience to connect so strongly with Pepe.
It's not
easy to see the good in a character who supposedly values hate.
Nonetheless,
the message this film brings is a positive one that bears remembering:
it's
always important to look beneath the surface and not just at what lies
in front
of you.


The Blu-ray:


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Video:


The release of The Two of Us includes a
1080p MPEG-4
AVC encoded high definition presentation in the original theatrical
aspect
ratio of 1.66:1 widescreen. This is a high quality scan of the film
with
stunning clarity. It is a 4K remastered presentation. The detail,
depth, and
clarity present is superb. Without any doubt, this film has received a
excellent restoration. Fans of the film will not feel disappointed.


Audio:


The audio is presented in 2.0 stereo uncompressed
PCM. The 24
bit high-definition lossless audio is surprisingly clean and crisp for
the age
of the film. Dialogue reproduction is also excellent. This stereo track
might
be relatively quiet but it's clarity is superb.


The audio score by the maestro Georges Delerue,
Truffaut's
frequent collaborator, is a highlight of the presentation and is well
presented
on this release.


English SDH subtitles are provided for the deaf
and hard of
hearing.


style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">


Extras:


Includes a printed booklet with photographs and
cast/crew
production credits.  


On disc supplements include:


Audio Commentary with film critic Wade
Major


Michel Simon Discusses The Two Of Us (1
min. 25 sec.,
SD)  is a short interview with the actor
about the process of being involved in the film.


Michel Simon and Jean Renoir In Conversation
(6 min.,
SD) is a conversation about the film between its star and director.


2017 re-release trailer


Final Thoughts:


The Two of Us is a generally well-crafted
film with a
strong message behind it. The film is a strong directorial effort by
Claude
Berri. Though the film isn't quite as strong as Berri's later films,
it's still
a film that aims for something serious and that which will make an
impression. The
4K restoration is also superb and is worth a look for fans of Berri.


Recommended.



Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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