The Truth About Emanuel Blu-ray Review
Written by Michel Sabourin
Blu-ray released by Well Go USA
Written and directed by Francesca Gregorini
Story by Sarah Thorp
2014, Region A, 96 minutes, Not Rated
Blu-ray released on March 25th, 2014
Kaya Scodelario as Emanuel
Jessica Biel as Linda
Alfred Molina as Dennis
To be fair, The Truth About Emanuel is not a horror movie. Not in any way, shape, or form. It is, however, a stunning psychological drama with a ton of style and the substance to back it up. The moment you realize that things are about to go downhill for the main character (about 24 minutes in) is the moment I was thoroughly sold on this genuinely disturbing movie. It's not so much a twist, as you probably will expect it, but it shocks nonetheless, because you think there's no way what you suspect is true. Hold on to that feeling, because that's the main theme of The Truth About Emanuel; seeing beyond the surface and going with the current. It's an oddly engaging drama about a young girl who feels responsible for her mother's death in childbirth and the strange new neighbor who she befriends.
I could tell you more of the plot, but frankly, anything else I would add would really spoil a movie that really shouldn't be spoiled. This movie has stuck with me over the last few days since I watched it more than just about anything I've watched since We Need to Talk About Kevin (which, incidentally, if you haven't watched it, is a deeply emotional and uncomfortable viewing). I cannot overstate the lack of horror enough, which is a shame because the cover artwork and tagline is going to draw in unsuspecting horror fans who will probably be upset by the standard drama it really is. This is another case where the marketing does a poor job of selling the movie justly.
I found Emanuel to be emotionally entrancing and heartfelt. It made me feel sorry for the leads and also made me question their ulterior motives for their actions, which becomes apparent in the end. There was a lot of WTF? and confusion as to what's real and what's imagined by the players and speculation on my part of the truth. It's a great psychological bender and a well-made, well-acted, well-scripted work that doesn't question the viewer's intelligence, but rather trusts the audience to follow along and wait for the answers to reveal themselves.
Video and Audio:
Presented in the standard 16:9 widescreen format, the video is sharp and the colors are vibrant.
The audio mix (Stereo/5.1 HD Surround) is subtle and the score is moody and suits the atmosphere well.
Bonus features on the Blu-ray include an interview with the director, Francesca Gregorini, deleted scenes (none that add to the story), outtakes (really not worth the time to watch), and the usual inclusion of the trailer and previews for other upcoming releases.