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Away We go - Blu-ray Review


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</script></div>{/googleAds}There's a moment early on in Sam Mendes' Away We Go as Maya Rudolph, playing Verona De Tessant, steps out of the car to let her boyfriend, Burt Farlander (played by The Office's John Krasinski), finish his â"really loud" phone call when the film simply transcends entertainment and becomes a part of the real world; these are real people with real experiences caught inside the tricky web of an unexpected pregnancy and all the questions it raises a couple. The film is a rollercoaster of natural human emotion, but bubbling to the surface is the element of comedy found in everyday occurrences that the script, written by David Eggers and Vendela Vida, chooses to highlight; a choice of tone that lightheartedly echoes even in the bittersweet moments the couple faces together.

Away We GoFresh off of Revolutionary Road, Mendes returns with a subject that, at times, challenges the themes Revolutionary Road addressed: marriage and family and happiness except this time, Mendes' new film accepts those challenges with an optimistic earnestness maybe privy to only the optimistic notions of young thirty-something couples - that carries the film in the opposite direction of the previous work. It could be argued that this is the answer to the dark themes explored in Revolutionary Road, or simply just another way to see the world at large.

Away We Go literally starts with a bang. In an opening scene after establishing the amount of junk in the young couples' life Burt is told not â"to blow" while orally pleasing Verona and discovers that she inexplicably â"tastes different" and it is in this unconventional manner that we discover what Verona doesn't want to hear: she's pregnant. Once Burt and Verona realize during a visit to his parents - that Burt's parents (Catherine O'Hare and Jeff Daniels both equally hilarious and selfishly clueless) won't be around to help with the raising of their baby (due to an unexpected move to Belgium), the couple decides to hit the road and search for answers that their pregnancy has raised. Journeying from one locale to another, Burt and Verona act as narrators and explorers seeing different ways to view the raising of a child through their friends and family in their search for somewhere, someplace to call their home.

While Krasinski has broken free from his role in The Office with the help of mega-stars like Robin Williams and George Clooney, it is SNL alumni Maya Rudolph who exquisitely shines in the movie. Her soft-spoken intelligence and warm humor balances Krasinski's nerd-like charm with a steady hand and makes the film a constantly warm place to visit despite the helplessness the characters feel at times. These two make a team of fresh travelers that makes revisiting the film seem like something more a reunion of sorts of friends, of family, and of feelings. Achingly beautiful and rich in humor, Away We Go is definitely a trip worth taking... even if it uncovers more questions than it does answers.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
4 stars
4 stars
DVD Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

In a featurette entitled Green Filmmaking, the producers explain how shooting Away We Go was Hollywood's premiere attempt at working with the environment in mind. The actors and producers talk freely about how much waste is produced and how nice it was to work on the film with the â"Green" element firmly in check.

There is also a making of featurette that explains how Mendes got involved with the story and hired all the actors. The interviews with cast members especially Krasinski are interesting and full of candor concerning the making of the film. Several interviews with Mendes provide the meat of the featurette.

There is also a commentary featuring Mendes and writers Eggers & Vida that runs the length of the film and explains how Connecticut was disguised as five different states while shooting the film.

Screen Formats: 2.35:1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Language and Sound: English: DTS 5.1 HD Spanish: DTS 5.1 Surround French: DTS 5.1 Surround.

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; making-of featurette; behind-the-scenes featurette; audio commentary.

Supplements:

Commentary

Featurettes

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

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