Love Is All You Need (a J!-ENT DVD Review)
September 3, 2013 by Dennis Amith
“Love Is All You Need” is delightful, entertaining and beautiful romantic comedy from director Susanne Bier. Recommended!
DVD TITLE: Love is All You Need
YEAR OF FILM: 2012
DURATION: 116 Minutes
DVD INFORMATION: 2:35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Danish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Classics
RATED: R (For Brief Sexuality, Nudity and Some Language)
RELEASE DATE: September 10, 2013
Directed by Susanne Bier
Screenplay by Anders Thomas Jensen
Story by Susan Bier, Anders Thomas Jensen
Produced by Vibeke Windelov, Sisse Graum Jorgenson
Co-Producer: Remi Burah, Lionello Cerri, Madeleine, Ekman, Maria Kopf, Peter Nadermann, Charlotte Pedersen, Martin Persson, Cesare Petrillo, Vieri Razzini, Marianne Slot, Sigrid Strohmann, Meinolf Zurhorst
Line Producer: Karen Bentzon, Riccardo Pintus
Music by Johan Soderqvist
Cinematography by Morten Soborg
Edited by Pernille Bech Christensen, Morten Egholm
Casting by Lene Seested
Production Design by Peter Grant
Art Direction by Tamara Marini
Costume Design by Signe Sejlund
Trine Dyrholm as Ida
Pierce Brosnan as Philip
Sebastian Jessen as Patrick
Molly Blixt Egelind as Astrid
Kim Bodnia as Leif
Ciro Petrone as Alessandro
Marco D’Amore as Marco
Paprika Steen as Bendikte
From Academy Award winning filmmaker Susanne Bier (“In a Better World”, “After the Wedding”, “Things We Lost in the Fire”) comes the Danish romantic comedy “Den skaldede frisor” (which translates to “The Bald Hairdresser”).
To be released in the U.S. as “Love Is All You Need” on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics, the film will be released in Sept. on Blu-ray and DVD.
“Love Is All You Need” stars Trine Dyrholm (“The Celebration”, “A Royal Affair”, “In a Better World”), Pierce Brosnan (“Goldeneye”, “Die Another Day”, “The World is Not Enough”), Sebastian Jessen (“Nothing’s All Bad”, “2900 Happiness”), Molly Blixt Egelind (“Okay”, “Rebounce”, “Fighter”) and Kim Bodnia (“Pusher”, “Bleeder”).
“Love is All You Need” is a film that introduces us to a hairdresser named Ida (portrayed by Trine Dyrholm) who has had successful breast cancer treatment and her doctor asks if she wants to have reconstructive surgery, which Ida doesn’t feel is necessary.
The doctor tells her if she talked it over with her husband and that she should go on vacation. Fortunately, she and her husband is planning to go to Italy for her daughter’s wedding.
And as Ida heads back home, she catches her husband Leif (portrayed by Kim Bodnia) having sex with his young accountant. All her husband can say is that he had a hard time dealing with her cancer and as much as it has been difficult on her, it has been difficult on him. He ends up leaving her and leaving Ida in distress.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to Philip (portrayed by Pierce Brosnan) who is the owner of a corporation that deals with fruit. Philip is a person that is preoccupied by his work and he is not so talkative to his staff or employees and literally has closed himself off to others.
And we are introduced to Ida’s daughter Astrid (portrayed by Molly Blixt Egelind) and her fiance Patrick (portrayed by Sebastian Jessen), the son of Philip.
Both were dating for three months until agreeing on getting married and the two are planning to get married at the Italian lemon plantation in Italy. But part of the problem that Astrid feels is that despite their relationship going well, he will not be intimate with her for some reason and she starts to have her doubts.
As a distressed Ida is trying to park at a parking garage at the airport, she ends up hitting Philip’s car when she tries to backup. Upset with the woman, Philip wants to get the woman’s ID card and sees her crying and emotionally unstable. She tells him that she’s never been to the airport alone and that she’s trying to go to her daughter’s wedding in Italy and Philip tells her that his son Patrick is getting married and both realize that their children are getting married to each other.
As Ida tries to be friendly and sit with Philip, he is not enjoying her being near him and she sees him as a cold person, always focused on work.
When the two arrive in Italy, to add to Ida’s misery, they lose her luggage and to make things worse, her soon-to-be ex-husband Leif has brought his fiance, the young accountant he was caught having sex with.
Meanwhile for Philip, he must deal with his sister-in-law who keeps trying to flirt with him.
As Ida tries to enjoy her time in Italy, she swims nude in the ocean and just loves the beauty of the area. While Philip sees her clothes and her wig lying on the sand. As she comes back to the beach nude, both end up trying to ease their boredom or sadness in Italy by talking to each other.
Philip takes her through the lemon plantation that were once orange trees. And as both start to enjoy their time talking to each other, Philip can see the sadness of her having to see her ex-husband with his new fiance. Meanwhile, Ida hopes that she can help get Philip to talk about life and he reveals that he met his wife in Italy and that she was killed in a senseless car accident and it not only hurt his child but it hurt him and made him hate the world.
And both find comfort in discussing life with each other.
As for their children, the weekend with their families, may help them wake up and discover if they are right for each other.
“Love Is All You Need” is a story about seeking love and having the courage to change your life, even when you think it’s too late.
VIDEO, AUDIO AND SUBTITLES:
“Love Is All You Need” is presented in 2:35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Danish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital and Subtitles in English and English SDH.
For a beautiful film that is exquisitely shot in Sorrento, Italy by Morten Soborg, this is a film that will probably look so much better in HD via Blu-ray and sound much better in lossless HD. But for those who are interested in the DVD version, I can say that the picture quality is good, as one can expect on DVD. The beauty of Sorrento with it’s colors and the contrasting blue colors of Brosnan’s shirts are quite evident.
The music is crystal clear on DVD but it’s more of a front and center-channel driven soundtrack.
“Love Is All You Need” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with director Susanne Bier and Pierce Brosnan.
- Q&A with Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen – (8:25) Pierce Brosnan, Trine Dyrholm, Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen Q&A at Toronto International Film Festival.
- Behind the Scenes with Trine Dyrholm: Venice Film Festival 2012 – (5:21) Photographer Joachim Adrian Mikkelsen talks about the 3-day photo access he had with Trine Dyrholm for the Venice Film Festival 2012.
- Pierce Brosnan & Trine Dyrholm Interview – (9:58) Featuring an interview with Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm.
- Pierce Brosnan Interview – (7:32) Pierce Brosnan interviewed at the Venice Film Festival 2012.
- Theatrical Trailer – (1:52) The original theatrical trailer for “Love Is All You Need”.
As a cineaste who has enjoyed the films of Susanne Bier and her writing partner Anders Thomas Jensen. One thing that is consistent of their films is tackling family dysfunction but also capturing a human element.
With “Love Is All You Need”, Susanne doesn’t go through a darker or traumatic path but goes to a romantic comedy that makes one see the beauty through the cinematography of Morton Soborg (“In a Better World”, “After the Wedding”, “Chernobyl Diaries”). Capturing the beauty of Sorrento, Italy with beautiful environments and colors but also wonderful performances by actress Trine Dyrholm and Pierce Brosnan.
Trine playing the character of Ida, a woman who is dealing with cancer and fighting it, a hairdresser with no hair but wearing a wig but still not wanting to trouble her own family, but to find her own husband having an affair.
Pierce Brosnan, in reality, a man who has lost his wife and also a daughter to ovarian cancer was approached to play this role by Susanne Bier and having had the emotions of pain and loss of losing a love one or having a love one fight cancer, is tough but like the character of Philip in which he plays, possible therapeutic in taking on a story not about death or tragedy but of hope.
Both have wonderful chemistry and gentleness as we see how these two individuals open each other’s hearts up. Ida, a mother and wife who had kept things inside because she doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone, while Philip is a widower who lost his wife to a car accident and has hated the world and has affected his relationship with his own son.
The storyline would also focus on both character’s children, Astrid, a young woman who wants to know what true love is in a marriage, while Patrick is a man who is not sure about himself and what love is. Both who knew each other in three months and have not been intimate decide to get married and must learn a lesson about love, while Astrid’s mother and Patrick’s father, who have had love, have chance to change their lives and possibly discover love.
I found “Love Is All You Need” to be a delightful film. Music that sets the tone of the romantic comedy with “Amore” to fascinating characters, even Kim Bodnia, known for playing action or dark roles, plays the philandering husband of Ida who tries to make people feel bad for him, that he had to have an affair with a younger woman.
As the film deals with a woman who has cancer, it’s not a film about cancer. It’s about second chances and people discovering or rediscovering love.
While “Love Is All You Need” is an enjoyable romantic comedy, it does have a few shortcomings with the relationships progressing too fast for the characters. Where some films would feature a romance over a period of weeks, months or years, this is possibly over a weekend or a few days and while plausible, I felt it would have been interesting to explore the main characters more. As for the relationship between Astrid and Patrick, it does fit the banality of young love in turmoil but I did find Molly Blixt Egelind’s performance to be fantastic and I look forward to seeing her in cinema much more in the near future.
As for the DVD release, as one can expect for a DVD, the picture quality is good and the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is very good but for those who want magnificent picture quality and a lossless soundtrack will want to opt for the Blu-ray release of the film. Special features features an insightful commentary by director Susanne Bier and Pierce Brosnan plus interviews from the Toronto International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival.
Overall, “Love Is All You Need” is delightful, entertaining and beautiful romantic comedy from director Susanne Bier. Recommended!
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