David Hare's minimalist adaptation of Wallace Shawn's The Designated Mourner arrives on DVD, a format that may be best for experiencing this very talky film. The image is a standard full-frame 1.33:1 transfer. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are no subtitle options and the soundtrack is not closed-captioned. Sadly, the only supplemental feature is a theatrical trailer. Luckily the tight close-ups that are used throughout the film come across even more powerfully on the small screen. The nuances of Mike Nichols' intricate delivery can be studied more closely on this DVD than they can in the theater.This film adaptation of the acclaimed play by Wallace Shawn takes place in an unnamed country, where a repressive regime has come to power and begun rounding up and executing intellectuals. Jack (Mike Nichols), a journalist who aspired to a career as a novelist, sits with his wife Judy (Miranda Richardson) and her father Howard (David DeKeyser). Jack has appointed himself "the designated mourner" for the death of the life of the mind, a life he freely admits that he has given up, while Howard, a stubborn intellectual, is appalled by Jack's willingness to turn his back on his principles. The Designated Mourner was filmed concurrently with the play's London run; it features the same cast and was directed by the same man, playwright David Hare. It is filmed with the actors simply sitting at tables, delivering serial monologues.