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Under the Tuscan Sun  (2003)


Starring: Diane Lane, Sandra Oh

Director: Audrey Wells

Rating: PG-13

Distributor: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Release Date: February 3, 2004
Review posted: March 3, 2004

Spoilers: None


Reviewed by John Teves




While on vacation, a just-divorced writer (Lane) buys a villa in Tuscany on a whim, hoping it will be the start of a change for the better in her life.




A film like this is an act of attention. UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN is an attractive fairy tale of a film, with a likeable cast, beautiful scenery, and genuine, heartfelt sincerity. Diane Lane is the engine that drives every scene she's in, the performances are astonishingly effective and Audrey Wells' direction leads us not into a conventional fairy tale love story but into deeper truths about life, devotion and deliberation. What helps UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN is that all of the major characters in the film are good people. The film alone is reason enough to purchase the DVD.




UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The widescreen image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The video transfer was nothing more than brilliant. Sharpness caused no issues whatsoever. There were no signs of edge enhancement or jagged edges with this video transfer. The color palette offered agreeable and terse flesh tones that were well signified. Blacks were solid, while low-light shots appeared appropriately detailed and precise. The hues were tight and full and never suffered from any noise or other issues. Ultimately, UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN presented a very positive video transfer.




UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. For the most part, the material stayed fixed in the front speakers, giving the viewer a decent sense of ambience. Audio quality was fine with no signs related to edginess. The score displayed good clarity and depth and appeared to replicate the music well. Effects were clean and accurate, and they showed no problems with distortion. Different elements were neatly localized, and they moved across channels and blended together well. The surrounds also were terrific as the amount of information created an encompassing atmosphere. Overall, an unruffled audio track that worked well for the film.




Deleted Scenes; Tuscany 101 Making of Featurette; Audio Commentary by Director Audrey Wells; Trailers




The DVD presents a wonderful audio track and video transfer with bland supplements. Fans of the film will be pleased with this DVD presentation. Others who seek it out will be pleased, and probably won't be horrified or disgusted when your significant other rented it for you both. There are enough clever and/or funny moments to provoke laughter. Essentially, this is a great Friday or Saturday night rental. There is no doubt in my mind that UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN is a loveable fun film that comes recommended.




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