The Truth About Emanuel (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

March 22, 2014 by  


“The Truth About Emanuel” may seem like a film that you watched many times before but in truth, is actually quite different thanks to the film’s multiple twists.  A smart and fascinating psychological drama from director Francesca Gregorini.

Images courtesy of © 2013 Emanuel Films. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: The Truth About Emanuel


DURATION: 96 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio,Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment


Release Date: March 25, 2014

Directed by Francesa Gregorini

Screenplay by Francesca Gregorini

Story by Sarah Thorp, Francesca Gregorini

Produced by Matthew R. Brady, Rooney Mara

Co-Producer: Sarah Thorp, Luke Watson

Executive Producer: Alice Bamford, Juan Carlos Segura G, Julia Godzinskaya, Kenny Goodman, Jonathan Gray, Mchael Sackler, Alex Sagalchik, Paul Schiff, Olga Segura, Brent Stiefel

Co-Executive Producer: Peggy Case, Claudia Castillo

Associate Producer: Nancy Valle, Grant Willsea

Music by Nathan Larson

Cinematography by Polly Morgan

Edited by Antony Langdon

Production Design by Anne Costa

Art Direction by Brittany Bradford

Set Decoration by Katelynn Wheelock

Costume Design by Erica Nicotra


Kaya Scodelario as Emanuel

Jessica Biel as Linda

Alfred Molina as Dennis

Frances O’Connor as Janice

Aneurin Barnard as Claude

Jimmi Simpson as Arthur

In this heartwarming comedy, underachiever David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) learns he’s actually an overachiever — he’s fathered 533 children via donations made twenty years earlier! David soon discovers that the shock of his life might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Along the way he discovers not only his true self, but also the father he could become. Also starring Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders — and complete with bonus materials, it’s a feel-good movie that really delivers.


A psychogial drama about loss, “The Truth About Emanuel” is the latest film from filmmaker Francesca Gregorini (“Tanner Hall”, “Jane Run”).

Starring Kaya Scodelario (“Clash of the Titans”, “Moon”), Jessica Biel (“The Illusionist”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “7th Heaven”), Alfred Molino (“Chocolat”, “Spider-Man 2”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”), Frances O’Connor (“Bedazzled”, “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”, “Timeline”) and Aneurin Barnard (“Citadel”, “Ironclad”,  “Mary Queen of Scots”).

“The Truth About Emanuel” revolves around Emanuel (portrayed by Kaya Scodelario) who still suffers from mental duress of knowing her mother died when she was delivered at birth.  And she has carried the guilt that she was responsible for her mother’s death.

She is detached from her current family which includes her father Dennis (portrayed by Alfred Molina) and her step-mother Janice (portrayed by Frances O’Connor).

But life changes for Emanuel when a new neighbor moves in. A single mother named Linda (portrayed by Jessica Biel), Emanuel sees her holding a baby and becomes fascinated by her.

Emmanuel gets closer with Linda and both become friends that Emanuel becomes her babysitter for her baby Chloe, despite not ever seeing the baby but hearing noises on an intercom.

But when Emanuel starts to venture around Linda’s home trying to find a baby, she starts to have visions of water rushing out of a door.

But as Emanuel tries to gain a glimpse of baby Chloe, what will she end up finding?



“The Truth About Emanuel” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1).  While the film was shot digitally, there are moments where closeups show amazing detail.  From the skin pores to amount of detail that you can see in one’s face, to the stylistic choices for various parts of the film with its use of color.  I was quite pleased with what the crew was able to accomplish with a low budget.


“The Truth About Emanuel” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and I was surprised that the film featured quite a bit of surround use.  From Emanuel and Claude on the train or the sounds of a crashing wave during Emanuel’s pivotal scene.  But the film for the most part is dialogue and musically driven (and are crystal clear via the front and center channels) and I was quite pleased with the choice to give an international flair with the musical selection!

Subtitles are in English.


“The Truth About Emanuel” comes with the following special features:

  • Interview with Director Francesca Gregorini – (4:02) An interview of how “The Truth About Emanuel” became a film.
  • Deleted Scenes -Featuring seven deleted scenes.
  • Outtakes – (:46) Featuring outtakes from “The Truth About Emanuel”.
  • Trailer – (2:11) Theatrical trailer for “The Truth About Emanuel”.


“The Truth About Emanuel” comes with a slipcover.


There are many films that delve into areas of mental health and psychiatric well-being, but “The Truth About Emanuel” is a fascinating film that deals with loss in a whole different perspective.

There have been films about losing a love one, losing a child and the mental anguish that the person carries with them.  But “The Truth About Emanuel” is rather fascinating for how it connects two women to losing someone close to them.

At first, I was expecting a banal film that would lean more towards a darker tale, perhaps one that dealt would be something twisted and your usual stalker type of storyline as the trailer made me think that is where this film was headed and in my mind, I felt I had it all figured out.  But I’m glad I was wrong.

“The Truth About Emanuel” is a smart film as it takes on a main character who has lived a life of guilt that when she was born, her mother died while giving birth.  While her mother breathed her last breath of air, she breathed her first breath of air and it’s been a difficult for her throughout her life.

With no motherly bond, that is why she has taken an interest when a new neighbor, a mother with a baby moves in next door and instantly, the women bond.  But it’s the various plot twists that makes us want to figure out, which one of these women have major mental issues.  Is their perception reality or something else quite disturbing?

And once the first reveal is made, while most people would be creeped out about it, it’s the reaction by Emanuel that makes us fascinated.  Because she is a young woman that has a unique perspective on life and how she was brought into this world, she looks as Linda almost like a motherly figure and the reason why she sticks around Linda is to see the mother and child bonding that she never received.

But it’s these certain moments that some may find disturbing, some may find it quite sad or some may wonder if things will get dark and the film end up becoming your usual horror flick (which fortunately, this film wasn’t).

But without spoiling any of the details of the film, the storyline between the two women were well-done, Emanuele’s rocky relationship with her father and her stepmother was also a good plot device to show how bad things have been for her.  But possibly the weakest part of the film is this relationship between Emanuele and Claude.  It just doesn’t seem it belonged, nor did it make any impact but to make us feel that despite her troubles, she is able to function in a relationship.

Aside from that, “The Truth About Emanuel” turned out to be a much better film than what I was expecting.  I was expecting banality, in return I got something different, fascinating and a film also sporting cool music and visual effects which made me enjoy the film even more.

Filmmaker Francesca Gregorini originally created the film for actress Rooney Mara, whom she worked with for “Tanner Hall” but as the film awaited funding, actress Kaya Scodelario and Jessica Biel were brought in for the film.

And the choice of having Kaya Scodelario was a good choice and I hope to see more of this actress in the near future, while as for Jessica Biel, it was interesting to see her take on a more mature role different from roles that we usually see her playing.

As for the Blu-ray, picture quality for the film showed a lot of detail during closeups, lossless audio utilized the surround channels for ambiance and the awesome music and you get an interview with director Francesca Gregorini, deleted scenes and outtakes.

Overall, “The Truth About Emanuel” may seem like a film that you watched many times before but in truth, is actually quite different thanks to the film’s multiple twists.  A smart and fascinating psychological drama from director Francesca Gregorini.

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