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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 368 minutes (on two discs), no extras

STUDIO: Miramax

RELEASE DATE: 2-7-2006

A breathtaking and emotional masterpiece is the first thing that comes to mind when I have to describe how great THE BEST OF YOUTH is. This six hour mini-series originally commissioned for Italian TV chronicles the lives of the Carati family over the course of almost 40 years (1966 to 2003) with the major focus being on two brothers, Nicola and Matteo. The film branches out into the people they love and other family members as all cross paths during some of the most intense times in Italy from cleaning up Florence after the 1966 Flood to the student riots of Turin in 1974 to the war the Red Brigade put on members of the establishment (government, teachers, bankers). The first part of the film sets the brothers into their own directions while discovering who they want to be. The second half shows the struggles they endure like any family. Nicola becomes a psychiatrist and Matteo a cop. The six hour story makes you really care about the family and everyone they touch. I felt sad when THE BEST OF YOUTH ended. I wanted to know more about the life of these brothers. A few moments shocked me while others saddened me. I even teared up once near the end of the film.

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

The colors and shadow detail are good, but some of the film is grainy in areas with one real dark shot at the beginning of chapter 37 (disc 2). Aliasing was noticeable in a few places on disc 2. The film did look a little soft. I have seen better transfers while it isn't that bad. I just wish the image detail popped out more.

AUDIO: Italian 2.0 Dolby, French 2.0 DD

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Dialogue and music are heard very clearly. The only problem is that only over 95 percent of the dialogue is translated for the subtitles. Whispering between a couple of characters is left without subtitles and dialogue heard in another also suffers the same fate. It is a minor complaint.

EXTRAS: Sadly no extras because I wish THE BEST OF YOUTH had a few.

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE BEST OF YOUTH is a masterpiece that will stand the test of time. It is a must see.

this DVD review is (c)2-12-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com