The Invisible Woman appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not stellar, the transfer was usually good.
Some minor issues with sharpness arose. At times, wide shots looked a bit on the soft side and lacked expected delineation. However, those instances were infrequent, so the majority of the movie appeared accurate and concise. I noticed no signs of jaggies or edge enhancement, and shimmering was absent. The film lacked print flaws and seemed clean.
Many period pieces opt for subdued palettes, and that was true here. The colors tended toward amber tones, though occasionally we saw more dynamic hues, such as during daytime exteriors. These appeared fine within the film’s stylistic choices. Blacks seemed dark and tight, and shadows demonstrated good clarity. Though this wasn’t a great transfer, it was strong enough for a “B”.
A romantic drama wouldn’t seem to be a candidate for a dynamic soundtrack, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio of Woman fell into expected realms. That said, it demonstrated a bit more life than I expected. A few scenes – on the beach, at a racetrack, etc. – used the various channels well, and we got occasional speech from the sides as well. A train derailment provided a serious – and unexpected – sonic jolt as well. Usually the track remained oriented toward ambience, though, so don’t expect lots of sizzle from the mix.
Audio quality satisfied. Although didn’t get much score, the music was full and rich, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. Speech – obviously an important factor here – appeared concise and crisp. Nothing here soared, but it all seemed positive.
As we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from actor/director Ralph Fiennes and actor Felicity Jones. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, production design and period details, camerawork and editing, music and a few other topics.
Expect to hear one phrase often: "I love". Jones and Fiennes devote much of the track to the praise of everything involved with the film, and this grows tedious before long. We do get occasional useful nuggets, but we don't learn a lot in this dull conversation.
Three video programs ensue. SAG Foundation Conversations with Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones goes for 26 minutes, 33 seconds and provides more info from that pair. They discuss story/characters/history, budgetary issues and production design, cast and performances, and related areas. Acting dominates the chat and helps give us nice insights. After the sluggish commentary, it comes as a relief to hear Jones and Fiennes offer stronger information about their work.
On the Red Carpet at the Toronto Premiere lasts 16 minutes, 32 seconds and features Fiennes, Jones and producer Gaby Tana. Fiennes offers an intro before the screening, and then we get a short Q&A about the project. The session at the end offers a smattering of decent notes, but overall, the program lacks much meat.
From the same event, a Toronto International Film Festival Press Conference runs 20 minutes, 59 seconds and involves Fiennes and Jones. They cover topics similar to those in the commentary and earlier pieces. This doesn’t mean identical information; some material repeats, but mostly we get new details. That makes this a fairly interesting chat, though it would’ve been nice to hear from participants other than Jones and Fiennes.
The disc opens with ads for Tim’s Vermeer, The Lunchbox, Kill Your Darlings and Wadjda. We also get the trailer for Invisible Woman.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Invisible Woman. This includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
Based on a real-life affair that involved Charles Dickens, The Invisible Woman could – and should – have become a gripping romantic drama. Unfortunately, the choice to focus heavily on the affair’s gradual development forces the movie to progress at a terribly slow rate and robs it of much potential. The Blu-ray brings us good picture and audio as well as a smattering of moderately informative supplements. Woman has potential that it doesn’t usually fulfill.