The End of the Affair
A powerful romantic detective story that merits repeated viewings, Neil Jordan's adaptation of Graham Greene's The End of the Affair receives a stellar DVD release. The widescreen anamorphic transfer beautifully presents Roger Pratt's atmospheric lighting and camera work while the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track sounds great on any home stereo system. There are also a number of DVD extras, including audio commentaries, a featurette, and a separate audio track spotlighting Michael Nyman's very fine score. The featurette is a better-than-average promo spot, but viewers should avoid it until after they've watched the film since it gives away a number of important plot points. The DVD also comes with separate audio commentary tracks, one featuring writer/director Neil Jordan and the other with star Julianne Moore. Both off-the-cuff commentaries are worth listening to, even if each should've been more prepared. As actors are wont to do, Moore brings up her own career and what the part means to her, but she's also genuinely interested and proud of everyone's work in the movie, from co-stars to production and costume designers. Like Jordan, she also touches upon how the movie differs from Greene's famous semi-autobiographical novel. That rare instance where the movie is actually subtler than the book, Jordan's narrative changes actually has a much lighter touch in dealing with Greene's religious themes. Both commentary tracks can be of interest to all audiences, but especially to filmmakers and students, as all aspects of moviemaking are explored. The commentary track even explains why movie rain always comes down so harder than real rain (light rain doesn't show up on film) and why it's torture for the actors to film such scenes. The early 1955 adaptation of The End of the Affair has also been released on DVD, but Neil Jordan's movie is infinitely superior.