Holiday (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - United Kingdom - Anti-Worlds Releasing
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (20th February 2020).
The Film

This controversial drama, passed fully uncut by the BBFC, tells the story of the trophy girlfriend of a Danish drug lord who sets a dangerous game in motion when she seeks the attention of another man whilst on vacation in the Turkish Riviera.

Included in the Hollywood Reporter’s list of the ‘Best 20 Films from Sundance 2018’, and in IndieWire’s list of Sundance standouts that deserve to find distribution, the film has met with critical acclaim all around the world.

Director Isabella Eklöf was also selected in the ‘10 Directors to Watch’ list by IndieWire.

Video

A sun-drenched ode to ennui as we follow Sacha (Victoria Carmen Sonne) about her existence living as a gangster's trophy moll on her hols. Sonne's character seems so vacuous, long-suffering and also bizarrely inscrutable that it's somewhat hard to really get involved in her ... plight, if that's the right term to use in her case. She seems to embrace the empty lifestyle and seek being "seen". After all, it's her only real purpose in the life of Michael (Lai Yde); the insecure yet explosive and dangerous drug lord at the centre of this web. One of those films to admire rather than like, love or embrace as it's filled with glib people.

Be warned, this has a graphic rape scene with simulated hardcore detail; most likely the reason behind it's controversy.

The image is immaculate as one would expect from such a recent digitally lensed production. It's one in which contrast plays the major role as it's almost entirely set in bright, sunny daylight and with interiors when the predominant colour is white.

Contrast is layered and very supportive; it could very easily have been filled with blown out highlights and fine detail being clipped. However, detail is exceptional throughout and the gamma has been expertly handled so we have no particular bias creeping in; whites are pristine.

Conversely the blacks are beautifully rendered and inky when they appear and colours are very vivid; standing out like beacons in the tackily bright backdrops. I saw plenty of fine detail throughout and this was consistently present and well handled by the first class encode. No digital artefacts, no compression issues (dual-layered disc with a high bitrate).

Flawless.

1080/24p / MPEG-4 AVC / 2.4:1 / 92:02

Audio

Multiple Languages DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English, English HoH

Danish, English, French dialogue is well rendered and the accompanying subtitles are rendered in two flavours; standard for most viewers who don't speak French or Danish and hard of hearing for those who need them. The standard subs are perfect and the hard of hearing the same; grand job. This is a fairly active, modern 5.1 track with plenty of ambiance and subtle use of the surrounds. The score by Martin Dirkov is supportive and fairly low key apart from club scenes which thunder round the soundscape and kick the subwoofer into next week. Lots of range and depth on display, but remember this is a drama first and foremost, albeit with thriller elements towards the end. Don't expect the latest 007 epic.

Like the image, flawless.

Extras

"On Holiday: An Interview with Writer-Director Isabella Eklöf" 2020 featurette (19:43)
"Q&A with Writer-Director Isabella Eklöf" 2020 featurette (28:47)


Comprehensive interview with the creator; covers all the bases and adds great contextual value.

Deleted Scene (3:01)

Nice to have but not essential; I can see why it was dropped from the final edit.

"Willy Kirklund." 2002 short film (SD) (10:32)

Short documentary about the author Willy Kirklund from the same creatives as the main feature. Interesting and a worthy support feature. Standard definition but decent image and clear sound.

32-page booklet containing new writing on the film by Anna Bogutskaya, an interview with Isabella Eklöf by Addy Fong, Peter Walsh on Willy Kyrklund and film credits

As we've come to expect from Powerhouse Films, their sister company Anti-Worlds Releasing delivers another essential contextual booklet that covers in depth the main feature and the supporting short film.

Packaging

Standard clear keepcase.

Overall

An odd, highly lauded drama about - essentially - an old-rime gangster's moll on holiday with her violent, misogynistic beau and his flunkies. It arrives on Blu-ray with a first-class presentation from Anti-Worlds Releasing; the new company from some of those behind Powerhouse Films.

As with the Powerhouse Indicator releases the technical specifications are superlative; produced by the same ace team and encoded by Fidelity in Motion. The work is flawless and as this is a very recent film it looks and sounds as good as can be. Extras are not as extensive as we'd usually get on an the more loaded Indicator discs but they're very choice. Pride of place is the booklet which is as good as those for Powerhouse and just as essential.

Fans of oddball arthouse drama will find this an essential disc.

The Film: B Video: A+ Audio: A+ Extras: A- Overall: A+

 


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