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Claim
     

The Claim

5.0 1
Director: Michael Winterbottom, Peter Mullan, Wes Bentley, Milla Jovovich

Cast: Michael Winterbottom, Peter Mullan, Wes Bentley, Milla Jovovich

 
Though director Michael Winterbottom's visually sumptuous and emotionally powerful Western went virtually ignored theatrically, MGM Home Entertainment's DVD of the film will hopefully garner an appreciative audience. Sadly, the disc offers up no substantial extras other than the original theatrical trailer (not even a cast and crew bio page). The disc could have

Overview

Though director Michael Winterbottom's visually sumptuous and emotionally powerful Western went virtually ignored theatrically, MGM Home Entertainment's DVD of the film will hopefully garner an appreciative audience. Sadly, the disc offers up no substantial extras other than the original theatrical trailer (not even a cast and crew bio page). The disc could have really used a commentary track, as the film's arduous production outside of Calgary, Canada, would have offered up plenty of interesting details about working under such calamitous conditions. Nevertheless, the disc is a must, as the picture quality is superb. Offered in its original theatrical ratio of 2.35:1, enhanced for widescreen TVs, the film's beautiful cinematography by Alwin Kuchler is perfectly showcased here. The delicate warmth of many of the interior shots are balanced and finely detailed, especially in the darker scenes. Blacks are indeed black and there is a richness to them. The exterior shots also offer up plenty of detail, and the desaturated color scheme transfers nicely. The film's widescreen compositions really need to be seen in a theater to be fully appreciated, but this disc is nevertheless a stunner. The disc has been given an excellent English 5.1 surround soundtrack, as well as a Spanish 5.1 track. The low bass end is quite thunderous at times, though it never overpowers the dialogue. The film is also equipped with French and Spanish subtitles.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Liberally adapted from a Thomas Hardy novel, The Claim is a memorable but melancholy tale that transposes its action from the book's British setting to the mountainous American West. The story unfolds in the rugged frontier town of Kingdom Come, where mayor Daniel Dillon (portrayed by Peter Mullan) rules with an iron hand. Dillon is haunted by the memory of a decision he made two decades earlier, and the arrival in town of a faded tubercular beauty (Nastassja Kinski) and her 20-year-old daughter (Sarah Polley) intensifies the pain of that memory. Railroad surveyor Donald Dalglish (Wes Bentley), whose recommendation could bring prosperity to Kingdom Come, takes a shine to the young woman -- unaware that she, like Dillon, harbors a tragic secret. The plot might seem unnecessarily cryptic, but that's just what director Michael Winterbottom (Wonderland) intended. His stark, gritty drama is deliberately ambiguous, and he's stingy about sharing details with his audience. But The Claim will reward viewers who invest the extra concentration needed to follow the story. Winterbottom's film is a carefully wrought, unconventional western in the spirit of Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller, and it's graced with unusually fine performances contributed by a superb cast.
All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
In a matter of a few years, director Michael Winterbottom has slowly become one of the more interesting British filmmakers currently working, simply by retaining the ability to make films that are both classical and progressive in nature. This period effort set in the wintry landscapes of the Sierra Nevada region proves to be his most unique and rewarding movie yet, blessed with an undeniably precise knowledge of time and place, with a permanent, lived-in quality brought to fruition by a remarkable ensemble cast. A director who never goes for cheap effect, Winterbottom subtly draws viewers into this haunting tale of family regained and the power of greed by letting them take in the details through small gestures. He is helped immeasurably by his production team, including the magnificent art direction by Mark Tildesley and cinematographer Alwin Kuchler, which conspires to create an epic picture that feels momentous as much with emotion as it does with visuals. The movie never draws attention to itself, which is why it becomes so affecting -- it is one of the few recent films that seem effortlessly rooted in its setting. Combined with his other 2000 offering -- the superb, working-class drama Wonderland) -- Winterbottom has become a master eavesdropper on lives as they are lived, creating a world that feels as real to the viewer as it does to the subjects onscreen.
San Francisco Chronicle
A rich emotional experience, ranging in degree from fire to ice. Bob Graham

Product Details

Release Date:
06/26/2001
UPC:
0027616861108
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
R
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:00:00

Special Features

Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Mullan Dillon
Wes Bentley Dalglish
Milla Jovovich Lucia
Nastassja Kinski Elena
Sarah Polley Hope
Julian Richings Bellinger
Sean McGinley Sweetley
Duncan Fraser Crocker

Technical Credits
Michael Winterbottom Director
Kerry Barden Casting
Douglas Berquist Co-producer
Frank Cottrell Boyce Screenwriter
Wendy Brazington Casting
Andrea Calderwood Executive Producer
Andrew Eaton Producer
Joanne Hansen Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul Healy Set Decoration/Design
Billy Hopkins Casting
Martin F. Katz Executive Producer
Alwin Küchler Cinematographer
Nick Laws Asst. Director
Alexis Lloyd Executive Producer
Michael Nyman Score Composer
Ken Rempel Production Designer
Suzanne Smith Casting
George Tarrant Sound/Sound Designer
Mark Tildesley Production Designer
Trevor Waite Editor

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selection
1. "Kingdom Come" [:10]
2. Mistress & King [:01]
3. Public Shaming [9:13]
4. Painful Memory [4:22]
5. Captivating Dalglish [4:53]
6. Hope's Debut [5:43]
7. The Oldest Profession [5:09]
8. The Payoff [7:28]
9. Driving Home A Point [3:10]
10. Love & Marriage [7:59]
11. Railroaded [10:46]
12. Facing Death [9:29]
13. Pulling Up Stakes [5:17]
14. The Cold, Hard Truth [8:41]
15. Beginnings & Endings [2:44]
16. Pioneer/ End Credits [6:03]

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The Claim 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Top Notch. If you're looking for an authentic film about the Old West around 1867, and how it might have been, you got to watch this. This is a Canadian made film about the building of the Continental Railroad and I'm impressed. If you're a miner, prospector, gunfighter, reenactor,...you have to watch this film. I recently found an old Cylinder Record with crude singing very much like what you'll hear in the movie. It's now my favorite Cylinder Record. This is a Must See film if you think you're a western buff. Not an abundance of action but a very realistic couple of hours. Currently seeking my own personal copy. Have Fun. Capt.Ball-President Mojave Muleskinners