The House Of Mirth

The House Of Mirth (2000)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Gillian Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Eric Stoltz, Anthony Lapaglia
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Trailers, Filmographies

’The House of Mirth’ is another one of Columbia TriStar’s treatments of a European arthaus production, which is now coming to DVD as a great-looking DVD with a few exciting extras. Interestingly, the film has been shot in the US however with a renown cast of American actors, including familiar names, such as Gillian Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Anthony Lapaglia and Eric Stoltz among many others.

’The House of Mirth’ is the story of Lily Bart (Gillian Anderson), a ravishing young woman in New York at the turn of the century, who is on the search for a wealthy husband. It is a love story full of touching and moving moments, tragedy and romance. At the same time the film has a strong social commentary as hypocrisy and politicking take their toll on society. Based on the novel by Edith Wharton, the film is a lavishly produced film with splendid images that have been beautifully photographed. A great cast makes sure the film and the characters come to life, making ’The House of Mirth’ a truly enjoyable literary movie experience.

Columbia TriStar is presenting ’The House of Mirth’ in an anamorphic widescreen transfer on this DVD that is enhanced for 16×9 television sets. The transfer is as expected very clean and without the slightest blemish. Colors are vibrant and lively, nicely recreating the film’s ambitious and lush settings. A number of scenes feature a pastel color palette with many gray tones, but this is an intentional, stylistic device employed by the director. Blacks are very deep and never break up, giving the image immaculate shadow detail. The level of detail in the image is extremely high, creating a flawless presentation of the film. The compression is also without flaws and no hint of artifacting are evident anywhere on the disc.

The DVD comes with a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track as well as a Dolby Surround track in English – to which the disc defaults by the way. The audio presentation is very good and well rounded with a natural sounding frequency response that contains solid deep bass and very clear high ends that are free of distortion. As an addition the disc contains a running length audio commentary track by director Terence Davies, which is quite informative, as well as a selection of deleted scenes with optional commentary.