• A Woman Like Eve (Cult Epics) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Cult Epics
    Released on: March 10th, 2021.
    Director: Nouchka van Brakel
    Cast: Monique van de Ven, Maria Schneider, Peter Faber, Marijke Merckens
    Year: 1979
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    A Woman Like Eve – Movie Review:

    Set in Holland, Nouchka van Brakel’s 1979 film follows a woman named Eve (Monique van de Ven) who lives with her husband Ad (Peter Faber) and their two children in Amsterdam. On the surface, Eve's live is quite comfortable and she seems content, even if she doesn't seem to have the most passionate relationship with Ad.

    As we get to know Eve a little better, it becomes clear that there's an emptiness inside her. Ad assumes she's just suffering from depression and decides to send her and her friend Sonja (Marijke Merckens) off to the sunny southern coast of France to get away from it all for a little while, assuming that she'll come back in better spirits and that their respective lives will get back to normal once she does.

    What nobody expects is for Eve to meet a French woman named Liliane (Maria Schneider), a politically engaged feminist who lives on a nearby commune. Eve is attracted to her right away, though she doesn't immediately understand why. When she and Sonja visit Eve's commune, Sonja is less than impressed but Eve is intrigued even more. When they return to Amsterdam, Eve decides to learn French and correspond through some letter writing. When Liliane arrives in Amsterdam for a feminist rally, they reconnect and Eve finally realizes that she's fallen in love with Liliane, and that she's going to follow her heart, consequences be damned.

    While A Woman Like Eve is a little bit longer than it needs to be at just over an hour-and-forty-minutes in length, it’s an intelligent and thought-provoking picture that does a great job of getting us into its titular character’s head to better understand the conflict that she deals with. The story is handled with an eye towards realism. Eve understandably wrestles with the fact that she loves her family but, at the same time, she can’t deny the fact that she’s is very definitely having feelings for another woman. It isn’t an easy thing for her to come to terms with, at least at first, as she comes up against the prejudice and anger that tends to associate itself with situations such as this.

    Leading lady Monique van de Ven is very good in the lead. She’s believable in every way you’d expect her to be and she handles the material with a very lifelike acting style. She looks the part and has the acting skills to make us completely buy her plight. Likewise, Maria Schneider is very good as Liliane, a younger woman far more comfortable in her own skin than Eve is. It’s interesting to see these two actresses do their thing here, and as the story evolves, to see the effect that their characters have on one another. Marijke Merckens and Peter Faber are also very good here, with Faber in particular handling a difficult role rather well and delivering an impressive performance.

    Production values are solid, even if the film isn’t particularly flashy. We get some nice footage of the Amsterdam of the 1970’s and Nurith Aviv’s cinematography is strong. Laurens van Rooyen’s score is also quite good.

    A Woman Like Eve – Blu-ray Review:

    A Woman Like Eve arrives on region Blu-ray from Cult Epics in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.66.1 on a 50GB disc with the feature taking up 31.2GBs of space. There's a bit of flicker noticeable during the opening credits and some white specks here and there but throughout. The colors look maybe just a tad faded but overall, this transfer is pretty solid. Detail is strong throughout and there are no issues with any obvious compression artifacts or edge enhancement related issues. The picture always looks nice and film-like, showing the expected amount of natural film grain throughout.

    Dutch audio options are provided in 16-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono and 16-bit LPCM 2.0 Mono with optional subtitles offered up in English only. The audio is clean, clear and properly balanced. There aren’t any noticeable issues with any hiss or distortion and the subtitles are easy to read and free of any obvious typos.

    The main extra on the disc is a thirty-nine-minute interview with Nouchka van Brakel by journalist Floortje Smit at Eye Filmmuseum, shot in 2020 at a screening of the feature. This briefly covers the history of female filmmakers in Holland before then quizzing van Brakel about her thoughts on the film, the intentions behind making the picture, the audience's response to the picture, how she got into the industry to start with, getting the financing together for some of her projects, the depiction of lesbians in cinema, working with Paul Verhoeven, casting the picture and plenty more.

    Aside from that we get a of theatrical trailer for the feature, a few bonus trailers (The Debut, The Cool Lakes Of Death and Frank & Eva), a poster and still gallery, menus and chapter selection. Cult Epics also provides some nice reversible cover sleeve art for this release.

    A Woman Like Eve - The Final Word:

    A Woman Like Eve is a smart and sensitive drama that treats its subject matter with respect. The acting is strong across the board and those with an appreciation for European arthouse dramas should find much to appreciate here. Cult Epics has done a nice job bringing the picture to Blu-ray with a solid presentation and a very interesting interview with the film’s director.

    Click on the images below for full sized A Woman Like Eve Blu-ray screen caps!