Wonderland

Overview

Michael Winterbottom's stylish, engrossing look into the lives of three sisters is absolutely riveting on DVD. It's rather hard to assess the video quality, because the original print is frequently grainy. This seems to be the original intent of the director, most likely to add touches of documentary atmosphere. Fortunately the grain never becomes a distraction, as the 2.35:1 widescreen presentation allows Winterbottom to fill the screen with compelling, masterly images. When it comes to sound quality, there is a...
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DVD (Wide Screen)
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Overview

Michael Winterbottom's stylish, engrossing look into the lives of three sisters is absolutely riveting on DVD. It's rather hard to assess the video quality, because the original print is frequently grainy. This seems to be the original intent of the director, most likely to add touches of documentary atmosphere. Fortunately the grain never becomes a distraction, as the 2.35:1 widescreen presentation allows Winterbottom to fill the screen with compelling, masterly images. When it comes to sound quality, there is a similar lack of definition, but only with dialogue. The Dolby Digital Audio actually gives powerful immediacy to the material, but some of the actors have thick, British accents, and murky audio prevents complete understanding of some patches of dialogue. Like the grainy video, the audio's lack of range would seem to be Winterbottom's intention, as it adds a huge dose of reality to the movie; in the movie, just as in life, one doesn't understand everything one hears. Michael Nyman's sweeping, Baroque score is life-affirming and dynamic in its presentation. Supplemental features are nonexistent, outside of a brief, interesting theatrical trailer and a "Chapter List," which allows instant access to the DVD's 19 chapters. Though additional supplemental material would have been valuable, Wonderland is essential viewing nonetheless.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Adding to his repertoire as one of the most eclectic British directors working at the turn of the century, Michael Winterbottom takes a successful stab at Robert Altman territory with this multi-layered tale of various malcontents in modern-day suburban London. Bearing a conflict-packed storyline and a drab, hand-held 16mm look, Wonderland's view of modern-day fears, tensions, and romantic angst is resolutely dour, but Winterbottom and his talented stable of performers are able to convey a sense of hope in the film's final act. The reliable Gina McKee brings warmth and depth to what could have been a stock characterization of a frustrated single woman; less successful is Molly Parker as a harried mother-to-be who's unbelievably furious at her husband's recent job loss. Wonderland bears more than a passing resemblance to Gary Oldman's Nil by Mouth (1997), but where Oldman painted a portrait of a family trapped in an endless cycle of misery, Winterbottom suggests -- convincingly, more often than not -- that his characters aren't doomed to repeat their mistakes.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/20/2001
  • UPC: 025192125522
  • Original Release: 1999
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English, Fran├žais
  • Time: 1:49:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 46,265

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Shirley Henderson Debbie
Gina McKee Nadia
Molly Parker Molly
Ian Hart Dan
John Simm Eddie
Enzo Cilenti Darren
Nathan Constance Alex
David Fahm Franklyn
Peter Marfleet Jack
Kika Markham Eileen
Sarah Jane Potts Melanie
Jack Shepherd Bill
Ellen Thomas Donna
Stuart Townsend Tim
Technical Credits
Michael Winterbottom Director
Mark Tildesley Production Designer
Michael Nyman Score Composer
Nick Laws Asst. Director
Gina Carter Co-producer
Trevor Waite Editor
David M. Thompson Executive Producer
Stewart Till Executive Producer
Michele Camarada Producer
Andrew Eaton Producer
Richard Flynn Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter List
1. Sisters [12:32]
2. Mr. & Mrs. Sykes [2:31]
3. Nadia's Date [1:07]
4. Eddie's Rehearsal [5:27]
5. A Pathetic Life [2:12]
6. A Bad Girl [4:27]
7. A Day with Dad [:58]
8. Molly's Dream [5:29]
9. Dancing with Donna [2:18]
10. Dan's Little Surprise [:48]
11. The Dog Killer [10:02]
12. Sunday [:22]
13. Molly's Problems [7:53]
14. Looking for Jack [1:43]
15. The Police Station [9:41]
16. The New Parents [1:16]
17. Nadia & Franklyn [1:26]
18. End Titles [4:08]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
   Play
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