Saturday, August 26, 2017

Blu-ray/DVDebut for one of the year's best films: Katell Quillévéré's HEAL THE LIVING

Watching HEAL THE LIVING a second time proved to be an even more exceptional experience than seeing it initially, when the elements of mystery and surprise held sway. With an additional viewing, knowing what was coming seemed to make each moment and each of the many characters all the more precious and riveting. As directed and co-adapted (with Gilles Taurand) by Katell Quillévéré from the best-selling novel by Maylis De Kerangal, this is certainly among the best of year so far.

Ms. Quillévéré (at right), who appears for a thoughtful and interesting interview on the disc's bonus features, has done things here that I've not seen before, including a small visual prelude to the movie's chief "event" that is simply staggering in its combination of beauty, majesty and exquisite foreboding.

And yet her film is among the gentlest I have ever seen. It radiates with kindness and a view of the human condition that should come -- in this current age when the President of the United States has just "pardoned" a piece of walking/talking narcissistic trash like Joe Arpaio, who is in so many ways Trump's equal and a law-breaking "sheriff" who should have been imprisoned years ago -- as a most necessary antidote to the plague of hatred and stupidity with which so much of America seems now infected.

Its tale is one of the journey of a heart and all those affected by that journey. Part love story, part medical marvel, part parent-and-children saga, part grief-and-loss study, it blends all these into an original, moving whole.

You can read my earlier (and longer) review of this wonderful film (posted this past April) by clicking here. If you let it get by you at the time of its limited theatrical release, don't make that mistake again.

The Blu-ray (in a fine transfer befitting the film's sumptuous cinematography by Tom Harari) and DVD hit the street this coming Tuesday, August 29 -- for purchase and/or rental -- as part of Cohen Media Group's Contemporary Classics collection. 

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