Oscar-nominated Films and Oscar-nominated Actors On DVD
By Ellis Nassour
The critically acclaimed film adaptation of the mega world successful musical Les Misérables (Universal Studios Home Entertainment; 2 hours 40 minutes; SRP DVD $20, two disc Blu-ray $35), based on the Victor Hugo classic novel, received eight nominations including Picture, Director, Actress; and a Best Picture Golden Globe. The cast includes a most impressive Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway (Oscar/Golden Globe win for Supporting Actress), Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sasha Baron Cohen. It’s set against the grittiness of 19th-century France and is the story of right, wrong, and injustice. Ex-convict Valjean (Jackman) breaks prison parole trying to redeem himself but is relentlessly hounded by his ruthless former captor Javert (Crowe). Directed by Oscar winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech). More than an hour of bonus features, including cast interviews and 45 minutes of behind-the-scenes content. Blu-ray combo pack contains DVD, digital copy, and Ultra Violet.
The high-voltage Zero Dark Thirty (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; 2 hours 30 minutes; $20 DVD, $40 two-disc Blu-ray), with five nominations including Picture, Director, Actress, is the story of the elite team of intelligence operatives who tracked and ultimately located Osama bin Laden in a Navy Seals operation in a suburban Pakistani compound. The much-acclaimed film, recognized as one of the best of 2012, was produced/directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Oscar winner, The Hurt Locker). As the film progresses, it becomes more and more riveting; however, because of intense scenes involving torture and the sometimes slow pace, this may not be for everyone. Jessica Chastain, most impressive, co-stars with Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Jennifer Ehle, and Kyle Chandler. Bonus material: Four documentaries including a making-of short.
Mark Boal’s screenplay is also available, Zero Dark Thirty: The Shooting Script (Newmarket Press itbooks; 133 pages, with full film credits; SRP $13).
Oscar-Nominated Actors on DVD
Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) can be seen on DVD in Disney’s acclaimed, Oscar-nominated The Help. She and Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey’s Earl of Grantham, can be found among the numerous guest stars in Agatha Christie’s Poirot & Marple Fan Favorites Collection (Acorn; six discs, 16 hours) DVD set, which features 11 of the best-selling and mega-watched detectives’ most popular mysteries. These include such classics as Poirot (David Suchet) in Murder on the Orient Express and The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb; and Miss Marple (Geraldine McEwan and Julia Mckenzie) in The Murder at the Vicarage and The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side.