Promising Young Woman appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. A film finished at 2K, this presentation looked good but didn’t live up to the highs of 4K.
Sharpness largely satisfied. Darker interiors could be a little indistinct, but the majority of the flick displayed positive definition. This meant we usually got a tight, accurate presentation.
I saw no issues with jaggies or shimmering, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also didn’t pop up, so the movie stayed clean and clear.
In terms of colors, Woman tended toward a somewhat amber feel, with some teal, purple and red tossed in as well. This worked fine within the film’s design parameters.
Blacks seemed dark and tight, while shadows offered mostly nice clarity and smoothness, outside of a few slightly dense interiors. Mostly everything satisfied in this appealing transfer.
Though never great, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundfield opened things up to a moderate degree. Music showed nice stereo presence, and the soundscape broadened when appropriate.
This mostly meant street scenes or those in various exterior locations, as the track featured decent use of the side and rear channels to recreate the various places. Nightclubs also added immersiveness. This wasn’t a super-involving soundscape, but it seemed fine for the story.
Audio quality was good. Speech appeared natural, and the lines never demonstrated intelligibility problems.
Music was dynamic and lively, as the score showed nice range and delineation. Effects were also accurate, with nice clarity. The breadth of the soundfield wasn’t special enough to rate anything above a “B-”, but I thought the track suited the film.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Visuals showed a moderate boost typical for the format, with HDR as the most important factor. The 4K didn’t dazzle but it gave the image a decent step up in quality.
Although the 4K promises an Atmos soundtrack, someone goofed along the way. If you click the Atmos mix on the disc’s menu, you’ll wind up with plain ol lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 instead.
The disc came with a more than adequate DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix, a mild step down from the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 7.1. I would suspect Universal will correct this error at some point and reissue the 4K with the intended Atmos track, but for now, we only get 5.1, and that made the 4K’s audio less ambiitious than the Blu-ray’s.
A few extras appear here, and we begin with an audio commentary from writer/director Emerald Fennell. She discusses story/characters, cast and performances, themes, sets and locations, costumes and production design, music, and related domains.
For the most part, Fennell makes this a fairly informative chat. At times, she delves into too much praise, but she brings enough useful insights to make this piece worth a listen.
Three featurettes follow, and A Promising Vision runs four minutes, three seconds and brings notes from Fennell, producer Josey McNamara, and actors Carey Mulligan, Laverne Cox, Alison Brie and Bo Burnham.
“Vision” examines story and themes as well as Fennell’s impact on the production. A few insights result but it mostly feels promotional.
Two-Sided Transformation lasts three minutes, 16 seconds and offers remarks from Mulligan, Fennell, Burnham, Brie and costume designer Nancy Steiner. We hear about the lead character and Mulligan’s performance in this passable overview.
Finally, Balancing Act fills three minutes, 50 seconds with info from Fennell, Brie, Burnham, Mulligan, Cox, and actors Jennifer Coolidge, Christopher Lowell, Max Greenfield, Adam Brody, Connie Britton, Clancy Brown and Molly Shannon.
They discuss the film’s tone as well as cast/performances. Expect another decent but fairly superficial piece.
The package also comes with a Blu-ray copy of Woman, one that includes the same extras as the 4K. Note that all the supplements subtitles listed under the disc’s specs apply solely to the Blu-ray, as the 4K omits any text for its bonus materials.
Some will attempt to dismiss Promising Young Woman as nothing more than a “Me Too”-era feminist fantasy, but those attitudes ignore the film’s depth. Aided by a stunning lead performance from Carey Mulligan, the film leaves no stone unturned in the way it implicates society, and it ends up as a powerful, dark journey.
The 4K UHD brings good picture as well as a few bonus materials and audio that works fine but due to a mistake doesn’t bring the promised Atmos mix. This might be 2020’s best movie but I can’t regard the 4K as an obvious upgrade over the Blu-ray, especially because audio becomes a downgrade unless/until Universal corrects their error.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN