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HTF DVD Review: The Diary of a Nobody
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Posted August 13 2009 - 02:22 PM
Studio: Acorn Media Group
Original Broadcast Year: 2007
US DVD Release Date: August 18, 2009
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 116 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 anamorphic
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Movie: 4.5 out of 5
Originally published in 1892, The Diary of a Nobody, written by George and Weedon Grossmith, has been considered a British comedy classic, and has never gone out of print. The book follows a man of particularly no importance, Mr. Charles Pooter, over the span of one year, beginning in August 1891. In 2007, writer Andrew Davies adapted the novel as a BBC mini-series, starring Hugh Bonneville as Pooter.
Filmed as a one-man show and set in 1891, each entry of the diary is performed by Bonneville as if you were in the room with him as he speaks about the day’s happenings, usually involving his wife Carrie, son Lupin, neighbors Cummings and Gowing, and boss Perkupp. Pooter is fond of puns, and often laughs at his own jokes. Bonneville’s performance is multi-dimensional, at times manic, at times touching, he never strays into a caricature. Many of his stories had me in stitches, such as his discovery of a red enamel paint that he obsessively uses throughout his home, painting ceramic pots, dressers, even the bath, much to the dissatisfaction of his wife and house servant. His obsession later pays him back. Another running gag is his refusal to admit to the ill effects champagne has on him, instead he insists he must have a touch of food poisoning. His relationship with his son, Lupin, is often touching, a young man in his early 20s going through a bit of a rebellious streak.
Video: 3 out of 5
Being a period piece, the color palette of the production design leans towards earth tones, but flesh tones remain accurate. Detail is remarkable good at times, although occasional mosquito noise does appear in the backgrounds, but never too distracting.
Audio: 3 out of 5
The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack does its job quite well. Dialogue is well-centered when played back in Pro-Logic mode, with occasional sound effects and music appearing in the left, right, and surrounds.
Special Features: 1 out of 5
The special features included on this disc remind me of the early days of DVD, when usually all we got were screens full of text to read, such as liner notes, filmographies, etc. All we get are a George and Weedon Grossmith Biography and a Hugh Bonneville Filmography.
Overall: 4 out of 5
Although a bit thin on extras, this British mini-series is a real treasure, and well-worth seeking out.