Felicia’s Journey

Felicia’s Journey (1999)
Artisan Entertainment
Cast: Bob Hoskins, Elaine Cassidy, Peter MacDonald
Extras: Commentary track, Trailers, TV Spots, Interviews, Featurette, Deleted Scenes

’Felicia’s Journey’ is a passionate thriller located in England that tells the story of a serial killer in a very unique way. Played by Bob Hoskins, Joseph Hilditch is an eccentric chef whose path crosses with that of Felicia, a young woman on the search for her boyfriend. He befriends the young woman, who soon trusts him with his restrained mannerisms and the politeness, only to find out that he is a serial killer and she could be his next victim.

Artisan Entertainment is once again presenting a spectacular release here. The video quality of the anamorphic widescreen transfer on this DVD is simply stunning. Presenting the movie in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the transfer is highly detailed and without any defects. The picture is razor-sharp without any signs of edge-enhancement and the image is absolutely stable throughout without any signs of noise or grain. The colors are strong and absolutely faithfully rendered with deep, black shadows and balanced highlights. The compression has been meticulously done, leaving every bit of detail in the transfer intact without introducing any signs of compression artifacts.

The disc contains a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital mix. Since the film itself is rather restrained, so is the audio mix and although surrounds are used effectively, they will never really catch your attention. That however is a good thing, as the ambient effects and atmosphere is created subtly, just as the film requires. Dialogues are well integrated, always understandable and clear. There is not a sign of distortion in the audio and the atmospheric music by Mychael Danna has also been perfectly converted to this DVD.

A number of supplements can also be found on the disc, including a commentary track by director Atom Egoyan, in which he elaborates in depth about the film, the associations he has with the subject and what his intentions where in any particular scene. The fact that he interprets much of the visual content of the film, adds a new layer of information to the movie that would have escaped many viewers without the addition of this track.
A selection of trailers and TV Spots, Production notes, deleted scenes, additional cast and crew interviews and a featurette round up this excellent release from Artisan, making this a highly underrated DVD.

This is not your everyday thriller. Starting out very slowly and almost harmless, the film gradually builds suspense until the viewer discovers the full scope of the story. Carefully directed and paced, this film is much more sophisticated in its narrative than you would assume at first, making it a nice opposite to Hollywood’s crop of action and effects-laden modern thrillers.