Editor’s Notes: 52 Tuesdays, The Water Diviner, and 3 Hearts are out on their respective formats July 28th.
Director Hyde realistically deals with the uncertainties of an individual toward a loved one undergoing such a drastic change. Billie intellectually recognizes that her mother-becoming-father is the same person within, but it’s hard for her to totally accept the transition, especially at a crucial time in her own maturation process. The film tackles tough questions rather than sidestepping them, making it possible to identify easily with Billie’s inner conflict as she’s confronted with the long, gradual process of gender change. The topic is not one dealt with a lot in feature films (TV’s Transparent has also dealt with the subject), and it make for riveting drama as well as a unique coming-of-age tale.
Bonus features on the DVD release include blooper reel, deleted and extended scenes, and a making-of featurette.
The Water Diviner
The Water Diviner marks Russell Crowe’s debut as director. He uses flashbacks to show the three brothers on the battlefield and the brutality of warfare. Though intense and bloody, the battle scenes are not the primary attraction of the film. This is not a movie that glorifies war. It is about the heavy burden of loss for people on both sides of the conflict. Historically, Gallipoli was a key event in the emergence of Australia and New Zealand, former colonies of the British Empire, as individual nations.
The Water Diviner is quite a task for a first-time director. Crowe successfully blends the personal story of Connor with the background of the recent, devastating battle while turning in a believable performance. His acting method of choice is underplaying and letting his reactions communicate what he’s thinking. He admirably handles the film’s spectacle while keeping in focus its characters. Too often, in a movie such as this, spectacle takes precedence over character development. Ultimately, The Water Diviner is the story of a sad quest. Incorporating elements of Shenandoah, in which a father can’t stay neutral when his sons are drawn into war, and Saving Private Ryan, with its graphic up-close images of horror and death in battle, Crowe chronicles the journey of a man looking for what he hopes will bring him peace.
Bonus extras on the Blu-ray release include a behind-the-scenes, making-of featurette and an overview of the Battle of Gallipoli on its 100th anniversary.
But Marc fails to show up after suffering a mild heart attack. Sylvie takes this as a sign and moves to America with her boyfriend. Marc never forgets her, but falls in love with an equally wonderful woman named Sophie (Chiara Mastroianni). They marry and start a fine life together until Sophie’s family comes for a visit. Marc discovers that Sophie and Sylvie are siblings.
Though the movie is filled with convenient coincidences and plot twists, it is redeemed by the performances of the three female leads (Catherine Deneuve plays the girls’ mother). Director Jacquot draws a major plot element form Leo McCarey’s An Affair to Remember with Fate separating Sylvie and Marc for years and then reuniting them under chance circumstances. The movie is given a suspenseful, often foreboding tone, by its score, which sounds as if it comes from a Hitchcock or noir thriller.
Blu-ray bonus features include an interview with director Benoit Jacquot and a theatrical trailer.