45 Years appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This became a pleasing presentation.
Sharpness was strong. Virtually all of the film looked concise, with nary any softness on display. No concerns with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws also failed to create problems.
In terms of colors, Years went with a palette that favored a cool teal tone and some amber. Within those parameters, the colors appeared pretty clear and concise. Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows showed good delineation. All of this left us with an “A-” transfer.
One shouldn’t expect much from the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundscape, as it remained decidedly low-key. Still, it offered a bit more pep than expected. The film included no score, but effects used the side and rear speakers in a moderate manner.
Not much occurred in this regard, as this was a chatty movie, but the mix managed to spread elements in discrete locations, and these moved well. For instance, an airplane quietly flew from left front to left rear to right rear. Nothing here dazzled, but the effects prompted more involvement than I anticipated.
Audio quality was fine. Speech sounded natural and distinctive, without edginess or other issues. Effects were clean and accurate; they didn’t tax my system but they satisfied. This was a more than acceptable soundtrack for a quiet character piece.
How did the Criterion Blu-ray compare to the original 2016 release? Both presentations seemed virtually identical. The Criterion hit shelves less than nine months after its predecessor and already reproduced the film well, so I didn’t expect picture/sound improvements here.
Whereas the 2016 Blu-ray lacked any extras at all, the Criterion set includes a good array of materials, and these open with an audio commentary from writer/director Andrew Haigh and producer Tristan Goligher. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, locations and production design, cinematography, cast and performances, audio, and related domains.
Across the board, this becomes a useful commentary. Both men – but mainly Haigh – go over a good array of subjects and do so in a brisk, compelling manner. All of this combines for an informative chat.
The Making of 45 Years runs 36 minutes, 42 seconds and includes remarks from Haigh, Goligher, editor Jonathan Alberts, director of photography Lol Crawley and actors Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling. They cover the source novel and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, the shooting schedule, cinematography and editing, locations, and similar subjects.
Overall, “Making” gives us a positive overview of the production. It takes a methodical approach to the subject matter and covers topics well to create a solid take on the topics.
We also find an interview with author David Constantine. In this 13-minute, 14-second reel, the writer discusses his original short story and contrasts it with the film version. He throws out a smattering of insights.
In addition to the film’s trailer, the set finishes with a booklet. It features an essay from critic Ella Taylor and completes the package well.
With an intense character focus, 45 Years delivers a quiet and powerful drama. It lacks phony theatrics and creates an involving effort. The Blu-ray delivers excellent visuals and perfectly acceptable audio along with a small but informative set of bonus materials. 45 Years provides a worthwhile tale and the Criterion release becomes its strongest home video release.
To rate this film visit the prior review of 45 YEARS