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Blu-ray Review: Plenty

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This is odd and effective drama, based on a play by David Hare, has been picked out from deepening obscurity by the wonderfully dedicated distributor Network Releasing. Given a new High Definition transfer and sent out into the world on a beautifully packaged new Blu-ray release, it is now primed for rediscovery, especially by Meryl Streep fans who have missed it off their collection.

Streep plays a woman disenchanted with life. She had amazing, exciting, extraordinary experiences in the Second World War and has now returned to England. However, post-war life is not for her. She feels frustrated with the slow, meandering pace of the world and the suffocating politeness of normal society.

Though Streep delivers an intelligent and nuanced performance, credit should also go to some excellent supporting turns from Tracy Ullman and Charles Dance. Director Fred Schepisi shows commendable restraint when directing the more emotional scenes, allowing his actors to play with Hare’s sparkling words rather than trying to manipulate the scenes into more hysterical territory.

A note on the release: The HD transfer given to Plenty certainly offers viewers the best-looking version the film has seen in the Home Entertainment market. Sadly there are several scenes which lack clarity, with smudged images and what looks suspiciously like noise reduction. Still, this is still a perfectly watchable presentation.

Plenty (1985), directed by Fred Schepisi, is released on Blu-ray disc by Network Releasing, Certificate 15.


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