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Paramount Studios presents
Intersection (1994)

"We've got all the time in the world, you and me."
- Vincent Eastman (Richard Gere)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer  
Published: February 22, 2002

Stars: Richard Gere, Sharon Stone, Lolita Davidovich
Other Stars: Martin Landau, David Selby, Jennifer Morrison, Ron White
Director: Mark Rydell

Manufacturer: MUMS
MPAA Rating: R for some language and sexuality
Run Time: 01h:28m:36s
Release Date: February 19, 2002
UPC: 097363224242
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A B+AA D-

DVD Review

From Mark Rydell, the director of On Golden Pond, The River and For the Boys, comes a remake of Claude Sautet's 1969 Les Choses de la vie, as Intersection, a film I had forgotten about despite running into its locations many times during the production. Rediscovering it here after many years, my appreciation for both its structure and message has grown measurably. This is a finely-crafted film, and while its theme may not be entirely unique, the delivery and style are worthy of investment. On a lonely stretch of road, a man speeds towards an undisclosed destination, deep in thought, an unmailed letter in his hand. Rounding a curve he sees a stalled vehicle protruding from an intersection, so he switches lanes only to see a large tractor trailer rounding the curve in the opposite direction, coming head on. He hits the brakes, and the car begins to skid out of control...Award-winning architect Vincent Eastman (Richard Gere) is at a crossroads in his life. At 42, he has a successful career, a thirteen-year-old daughter, and a wife of 16 years, his partner in their architectural firm. He and Sally (Sharon Stone) should have made the perfect couple, she with a flair for marketing, and he with a wealth of creative talent. However, when he meets Olivia Marshak (Lolita Davidovich), he is drawn to her, and the foundation of his marriage crumbles. He and Olivia begin to plan a new life in a house by the sea where they can build a future together. His ties to the past are tenable though, working each day with his estranged wife, and still caring deeply for his child. With a wife and daughter in his former home, and a mistress in his city apartment, Vincent's friend and co-worker (Martin Landau) suggests he is being foolish: not keeping all his assets under one roof is bad architecture. Torn between his family and the promise of a new start, the strain of the situation is getting to him. With pressures coming from all sides he has to make a choice, but can he find his ultimate happiness before it's too late? Shot on location in Vancouver, British Columbia, the story is told through a series of flashbacks within flashbacks, with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond using color temperature to delineate recent from more distant past. Most of the film is presented with a bluish cast, which changes to warmer yellows when moving further back in time. The camera work is wonderful, utilizing all the amenities a big budget production affords, including some well-placed, establishing crane shots, and a great special effects sequence. The editing manages to pull everything together succinctly, despite the disjointed series of events that present Eastman's story.The acting is top-notch, with the entire cast giving powerhouse performances. Gere is even-handed, with a developing sense of the pressures bottling up inside him. Stone and Davidovitch are more outwardly emotional, both fearing the loss of the man they love. As the film moves deeper and deeper into their histories, we discover the dynamics of their relationships, which are made more poignant as the story progresses. The message is simple, and as the last reel plays out to James Newton Howard's powerful score, the pieces that have been presented fall into place. Carpe diem.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic presentation here is what I've come to expect from Paramount, which is little short of perfection. Print flaws are nonexistent, and the stylistic hues that characterize the film are preserved with consistency. Black levels and shadow detail are excellent, as is the overall contrast balance. Fine film grain is naturally rendered, with no signs of edge enhancement or compression artifacts. There is little to find fault with here.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Audio is likewise well presented, in both stereo surround and a 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. The 5.1 track is enveloping, with broad separation in the score instrumentation, and subtle use of the surrounds. The soundtrack is forward focused, giving a more intimate feel to the image. Dynamics are well utilized, as is low frequency content. The surround track is a little more compact sounding, but still delivers.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 10 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only place this disc doesn't excel in is the extras, which are nonexistent, with only a scant 10 chapter stops, and simple, though functional menu design.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

With deliberate pacing, an interesting visual styling, and strong performances from its cast, Intersection is a moving character study of a man finding himself torn between reconciling a sixteen year marriage for the sake of his daughter and wife, and the hope of a happier future with another woman. Recommended.

 


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