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Blu-Ray : Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $28.9 Last Price: $ Buy now! 3rd Party 26.69 In Stock
Release Date: July 7th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 2004

My Summer of Love - Imprint Films Limited Edition

Overview -

The 2004 film My Summer of Love was both the feature film debut of Emily Blunt and the international arthouse breakthrough for director Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War). Blunt and Natalie Press star as two teenage Yorkshire girls from different classes who become summer friends and eventually summer lovers. Paddy Considine appears as Press’s older brother who has returned from prison as a born-again Christian. Imprint offers a technically solid Blu-ray with a handful of vintage supplements for this intimate, low-key drama. Recommended.

THE MOST DANGEROUS THING TO WANT IS MORE.

Kindred spirits from different worlds become entangled together one volatile summer in this passionate, psychological thriller. Local girl Mona (Natalie Press) is naive, reckless and filled with yearning for something more in life. Tamsin (Emily Blunt) is spoiled and bored and trying to escape the confines of her prep-school existence when she draws Mona into her fantasy world. But what started as a magical friendship soon becomes laced with deception and danger.

My Summer of Love was met with critical acclaim on its release in 2004 and was nominated for 5 BFI awards and won the BAFTA for Best film in 2005.

Starring Natalie Press, Emily Blunt, and Paddy Considine.

Worldwide debut on Blu-ray.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • 1080p High-definition presentation on Blu-ray from a 4K scan
  • Audio Commentary with Director Pawel Pawlikowski
  • Deleted scenes
  • B-roll footage
  • Cast & Crew Interviews
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio English DTS-HD 5.1 Surround + LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Aspect ratio 1.85:1
  • English subtitles
  • Limited Edition slipcase on the first 1500 copies with unique artwork

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Limited Edition slipcase on the first 1500 copies with unique artwork
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
Length:
87
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.85:1
Audio Formats:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Surround + LPCM 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles/Captions:
English
Release Date:
July 7th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

I remember the buzz in 2005 about this little indie drama, My Summer of Love, as the must-see arthouse flick of the season. I missed it back then, but the fanfare around that release made enough of an impression that I was excited when I saw Imprint was bringing the title to Blu-ray at long last. When I learned that the film was directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, who also made the astonishing Cold War and the Oscar-winning Ida, I was really excited.

Maybe that build-up of hype in my head is why I’m a little disappointed by My Summer of Love. Rather than an intimate romantic epic in the Cold War vein, My Summer of Love feels small – like a well-observed short story. This is slightly ironic since the film is adapted from a well-received novel by Helen Cross, although reportedly Pawlikowski retained only certain core aspects of the book.

Natalie Press stars as Mona, a working-class teenager whose only close relative is an older brother, Phil (Paddy Considine), who was just released from prison as a newly converted born-again Christian. While riding around on a second-hand motorbike with no engine, Mona meets Tamsin (Emily Blunt), a middle-class girl riding a white horse (metaphor!). Rather than cope with her brother’s new evangelism, Mona accepts Tamsin’s offer to hang out at her family’s massive country house. Tamsin’s mother is in a touring theatrical company and her father is shacked up with his secretary, so the two girls have the house basically to themselves.

It doesn’t take long for the star-crossed friends to become star-crossed lovers, and one of the most refreshing aspects of My Summer of Love is the matter-of-fact way it deals with the lesbian relationship at its center. Especially with the Christian brother lurking over in the B-plot, it’s a relief that the film doesn’t bring sin or societal prejudice into this. The film acknowledges there are enough fraught things in these girls’ lives that would connect them and that they don’t need further melodrama to heighten the stakes.

The downside is that Pawlikowski’s approach is so understated that it becomes a little hard to invest in the story, rather than just appreciate its naturalistic telling. All three leads feel tailor-made for their roles, and the direction never hits a false note. Still, I kept flashing to other stories of teenage coupling, especially Roy Andersson’s similarly naturalistic A Swedish Love Story, which captures the fun and pain of relationships at this age more palpably. Don’t get me wrong. This film is quite good and its curiosity about its characters' foibles is engaging. I just wish it was a little less fascinated and a bit more passionate.

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
My Summer of Love
is housed in the thicker style of keepcase found in a lot of international releases. The first 1500 copies come with a cardboard slipcover that approximates the US poster, while the inner jacket art riffs on the European poster design. The disc loads to a few skippable disclaimers and logos before landing on a still menu with music. The disc is Region Free.

Video Review

Ranking:

Based on a new 4K scan, this AVC-encoded 1080p 1.85:1 presentation appears faithful to the filmmakers’ intentions. Ryszard Lenczewski’s cinematography has a loose, semi-documentary feel that is reflected in the handheld camerawork and the use of fast, grainy film. The grain doesn’t become too noisy in the conversion to digital, but the image is relatively softer and more idiosyncratically textured than a higher-budget production. Colors are well-reproduced and lifelike.

Audio Review

Ranking:

Imprint’s disc offers both a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix and an LPCM 2.0 stereo mix. Both are well-mixed, with the surround mix offering a more immersive atmosphere. The sound design team does a particularly nice job of placing music convincingly within a scene. For instance, when the girls are listening to Edith Piaf, it sounds like it is coming from speakers in the room rather than just overlaid on the soundtrack after the fact. One subtitle option: English SDH.

Special Features

Ranking:

All of these bonuses were created during the original release of the film, but they are still well worth checking out.

  • Audio commentary by director Pawel Pawlikowski - Ported over from the DVD release, this is a highly informative discussion of the development of the project. A few silent spots but Pawlikowski is full of anecdotes.

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 3:46) - A few additional scenes of the two teenage girls wreaking havoc on their enemies.

  • B-roll (HD, 7:21) - Raw on-set footage of a sequence where the born-again Christians plant a giant cross on a hill.

  • Cast and Crew Interviews (HD, 21:05) - Four separate pieces recorded for the UK DVD, with Paddy Considine, Natalie Press, Emily Blunt, and Pawel Pawlikowski. Fairly off-the-cuff for junket-style interviews and entertaining.

  • Trailer

Final Thoughts

Some of the promo for My Summer of Love tries to spin it as a romantic thriller, maybe because of a brief, intense life-or-death sequence near the end. But this is really a modest character study – and a well-made one. Imprint’s Blu-ray looks and sounds great, plus it compiles all the vintage bonuses from the various DVD releases. Recommended.