My wife found out last night after her eighteenth screening of Emma (give or take) that I had never seen this, despite my sister watching it constantly on DVD after its release. 

This was, of course, unconscionable and had to be corrected immediately, or as soon as immediacy would allow, and here we are. 

It’s pretty good, actually. It’s a little long, dragging its heels towards an inevitable conclusion, but apparently the long shots of people pining for one another is exactly what sells these films, so I don’t know what I would cut. It does suffer from the mid-2000s filmmakers’ maladies, though: it takes itself far too seriously, everybody mutters at least half their lines, and the highlights are all tinted yellow for no discernible reason. But I can forgive the highlights and the muttering.

What I can’t forgive is the transfer. We streamed this in HD from iTunes, which is normally the best way to stream anything in our home, but this transfer is awful. Black levels are awful, dynamic range is so compressed as to make people look sickly, and for some reason the letterboxes were elevated gray on our OLED TV instead of pure black. One of the worst looking HD transfers I’ve ever seen — in desperate need of a new scan. It’s a shame because this is a gorgeous film, and I wish it was given better attention by the distributor.

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