THE PRINCE OF TIDES BLU RAY REVIEW

THE PRINCES OF TIDES for Oscar award geeks has a lot of baggage. The justifiable claim of snubs of the films director Barbra Streisand. The obvious concern over the films lack of any gold statues and of course Nick Nolte not winning (though he was up against Hannibal Lector or Anthony Hopkins no less.)  Streisand was snubbed. The reason was complex and overt. Sexism has been an issue with the Academy. Men get more than women. Kevin Costner, Warren Beatty and Mel Gibson as examples (Though not for acting Mel!) 

This is discussed in the piece with Robert Rodriguez talking to Streisand. Hes not obvious at first but its there. Also within this is a conversation over Nick Nolte. He plays as Tom Wingo. A southern man who was a teacher and football coach. His dysfunctional family have had many set backs. His twin sister tried to kill herself and his mother Lila ( Kate Nelligan), who is emotionally distant, asks him to travel to New York City to see her.

Nolte gives this character a richness. Warm, tender and emotional defensive. Streisand directs him without heavy notes or pressure. Her commentary reeks of this. She plays as Susan Lowenstein, his sister’s psychiatrist and nascent love interest. Her performance is on the money but you feel she was distracted. Directing such an emotionally charge piece, so well would do that I suspect. Tom hates modernity, city and monied society. He is not predujudice, more happy in his own skin. Lowenstein is overtly city and monied but she is also unhappy.

We get where this might be heading. We also might understand why the Academy were hostile. A film so obviously award bait is gonna be treated with hostility. However a lot is missed. Her handling of the intense and shocking scenes is balanced, charged and respectful. Her comments on the conversation about Jewish identity, apt. Yes sometimes it is regressive in its handling of romance (ready old technique) and the sub plot of Lowenstein (and Streisand) actual son wanting to play football is silly and unevenly handled.  Overall though,  PRINCE OF TIDES is a emotional, violent, unexpected roller coaster and in truth all the more rewarding for it.

THE DISC

4K ok? Well yes. The exterior, natural scenes and that sunlight has been given a new lease of life. Barbra Streisand choose well with Stephen Goldblatt for this visuals. I certainly think she was happy with the transfer as she oversaw it.

THE EXTRAS

I really like how the extras are packaged into film production and schedule set up. So pre production, production and post production. There were two big features that grabbed me (excluding the above) and I will list them for you. Audition and rehearsal footage is a fascinating insight.  Running footage sometimes along the actual scene is insightful. Like into the creative process. Streisand liked improve and it shows in her gradual direction and unobtrusive way with people.  If you are a budding film maker or interested in this, it it well worth seeing this from the eyes of a great director.

Alternate takes 

This is supplementary to the above. Seeing how a scene can go on different visual plains. It takes a great director to work on this. IT takes as good a director to let us see it…

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Barbra Streisand, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Streisand, recorded in 1991 and updated in 2019
  • Making-of featurette from 1991
  • Excerpt from a 2018 interview with Streisand, conducted by filmmaker
  • Robert Rodriguez on El Rey Network’s The Director’s Chair
  • Audition and rehearsal footage
  • Deleted scenes and alternate takes
  • Costume and makeup tests
  • Alternate end credits with vocal performance by Streisand
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Gag reel
  • Production-stills gallery and other archival materials
  • Interview with author Pat Conroy from a 1992 episode of Cinema
  • Showcase with Jim Whaley
  • Interview with Streisand from a 1992 episode of the British television show Aspel & Company with Michael Aspel
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by film historian Bruce Eder

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