Love Is All You Need Blu-ray Review

Philip (Brosnan) is a hard working widower.  Arriving for work on his birthday he brusquely, yet graciously, accepts the gifts his employees have gotten him.  One of them offers a romantic evening which he refuses.  Not because she is unattractive but because since the death of his wife he has retreated into a life of bitterness caused by her passing.  However he must put on a happy face as he is about to travel to Italy to celebrate his son’s marriage.  Ida is currently in cancer remittance.  Currently wearing a wig to cover her bald head, she carries with her a glow of someone that has been given a second chance at life and plans to make the most of it.  Coming home from the market she catches her husband on the couch with a girl from accounting.  He’s the kind of guy who insists she take a cab home from their tryst but reminds her to ask for a receipt.  Heartbroken by this betrayal she begins to pack her bags, for they both have a daughter that is about to get married.  In Italy.  Small world.

Love is all you need

Well acted and set against some beautiful background scenery, LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED is a beautifully written and smart film that looks at relationships from many different angles.  I have to admit that I was thrown off a little by some characters speaking French, Brosnan speaking English and others speaking Danish.  Often I was looking for subtitles that weren’t there.  But once I got used to knowing who to listen to when the story flowed fairly easily.  Brosnan gives a very strong performance here.  Sadly, Brosnan’s first wife, actress Cassandra Harris, lost her battle to cancer in 1991 and he remained a widower for a decade.  I’m sure he drew on many of the emotions he endured in the past for this role.  As the woman scorned, Dyrholme is also outstanding.  She is able to go from elation to despair quickly and, seemingly, effortlessly. The supporting cast is also strong, with special mention going to Sebastian Jessen and Molly Blixt Egelind as the married couple to-be and Paprika Steen as Philip’s rude and obviously alcoholic sister-in-law.  This is Steen’s third film with director Bier and you can tell by the lengths she goes to in her performance that there is a mutual trust between the two.  She struck me as a Danish Allison Janney in that she appears to be fearless on screen.

Love is all you need

Bier’s direction is smooth and the story flows easily.  And I must give praise here to cinematographer Morten Soborg, whose cameras capture the beauty of Italy, from the majestic countryside and beautiful canals to the lush lemon groves that sit on Philip’s property.  Some shots you could take a screen capture of and send out as postcards.  The script is neither too heavy handed on the cancer or too sweet on the romance, giving the film an even storyline that looks at love from all angles and at all ages.


Video:  The image jumps off the screen, with colors sharply highlighted.  From the green of the countryside to the yellow of the lemon groves, the film is a highlight of primary colors.  Presented in a 2:35.1 aspect ratio.

Audio:  The film is presented in DTS HD 5.1.  There is very little secondary noise going on as the film is primarily dialogue driven.  The dialogue comes through sharp and clear, no matter what language.

Love is all you need

Commentary by Susan Bier and Pierce Brosnan:  The director and star sit down and deliver a commentary that is downright akin to easy listening music.  There is a genuine affection between them and it comes out in their discussions.

Q&A with Susan Bier, Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm and Anders Thomas Jensen (7:30):  Interspliced with images from the 2012 Venice Film Festival is the end of the screening Q&A with the film’s director, stars and screenwriter.

An Interview with Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm (9:59):  the two stars talk about the movie while attending the 2012 Venice Film Festival.


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