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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Mystery > Drama > The Cry Of The Owl (2009/Paramount DVD)

The Cry Of The Owl (2009/Paramount DVD)


Picture: C+†††† Sound: B-†††† Extras: D†††† Feature: C+



Writer Patricia Highsmith is best known for her series of novels based on the murder/con artist/identity thief Tom Ripley, but she has done more and for the second time, her Cry Of The Owl has been turned into a theatrical feature film.The first time, it was the French director Claude Chabrol who made it into a film back in 1987 and we covered it a while ago.You can read about it and the storyline at this link:





This time, the artist is played by Paddy Constantine (Bourne Ultimatum, Cinderella Man), the neighbor he is interested in by Julia Stiles (also the Bourne films, The Devilís Own) and the James Gilbert (TVís The Tudors) plays the angry fiancťe.While Chabrol is an overrated director, Jamie Thraves is an underrated writer/director/filmmaker and one of the few in the wasteland of Music Videos that has made important works, like Charmless Man for Blur and Just for Radiohead.


The cast is good and this is better than the Chabrol version, but it cannot escape the confines and limits of the original work and lands up not being much better, yet it is very intelligently done.Locations are not bad and this is better than many recent Ripley outings as well.This is one any thriller fan should take a look at for even if you are not completely satisfied, youíll enjoy the mature tone and ambitious attempt at the kind of serious thriller we do not see enough.



The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image was shot in Super 35mm film format by Director of Photography Luc Montpellier (Away From Her) uses the scope frame well, but neither he or Thraves get fancy about it, yet we get solid compositions without shaky camerawork or other sloppiness that we see too often these days.The day scenes look better than the nighttime shots, which in this format are a little weak thanks to the DVD formatís limits.Would like to compare it to a 35mm print or a future Blu-ray.The Dolby Digital 5.1 fares better as even though this can be a dialogue-based mix, we get plenty of good soundfield, good surrounds and fine recording quality overall.Jeff Dannaís score is sparse and we get one too many vocal tunes.There are no extras, save previews before the film.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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