Blu-ray Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    BLURAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)

    John Krasinski as BURT FARLANDER
    Maya Rudolph as VERONA DE TESSANT
    Carmen Ejogo as GRACE DE TESSANT
    Catherine O’Hara as GLORIA FARLANDER
    Jeff Daniels as JERRY FARLANDER

    Rated R
    Studio: Focus Features

    Directed by: Sam Mendes

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Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) are a couple who find out their pregnant. They also learn that Burt’s parents are going to be going on a long trip and have rented out the house in which they live. This gives Burt and Verona a unique opportunity to travel to various cities and pick the best place to live and raise their new family. However, when they visit friends around the country and in Montreal, they discover that there’s no good choice of a new place to live. This forces Burt and Verona to reevaluate their relationship and their future.

“Away We Go” came into the American cinemas under the radar this summer. While films like “Star Trek” and “Transformers 2” were busting up the box office, few people came out to see this film about a young couple trying to get their lives together. That’s a real shame because “Away We Go” really deserved to have a bigger following.

It took some time for me to warm up to this movie. At first, I was a little irritated with the characters in that they were close to my age but still had a somewhat aimless existence. However, I started to feel more for their situation when it was clear they were trying to better themselves and plan a good life for their child.

One of Verona’s hang-ups in the film is her refusal to get married to Burt. Initially, I expected this to be for the standard reasons that she didn’t feel like it was necessary in today’s society, which is a cliche. However, the movie does eventually reveal a more poignant reasoning behind Verona’s stance, and that really helped drive home the heart of the film.

I’ve never been a fan of Maya Rudolph, although I will admit to not having seen too much of her work. Still, I really didn’t like her on “Saturday Night Live,” and her big screen debut in “Idiocracy” really left me cold. However, while her on-screen comedy is rough, her on-screen dramatic side is quite inviting. I was very impressed with her handle on the character of Verona, and she really brought a humanity to the role.

Ultimately, by the end of the film, Burt and Verona still have their hang-ups and their misgivings, but held up against some of the over-the-top yet not unrealistic characters they meet throughout the film, they seem perfectly normal and sweet.

Director Sam Mendes always manages to give a unique look to his movies, and he does so with this film. Unfortunately, the dreary look (meant to mirror Burt and Verona’s dreary lives) weighs the film down a bit. Additionally, it’s easy to pass judgement on the characters throughout the movie, and it does not represent a realistic sampling of any city shown. In the end, Burt and Verona just need to get better friends, which would be a good next step for them.

The Blu-ray release includes two high-definition featurettes. One is a basic making-of documentary, and the other is a spotlight on the green filmmaking that was spearheaded by this film.

Additional features include access to the BD-Live online site and a feature commentary with Mendes along with writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida.

Those in a relationship who have discovered that everyone else seems crazier than they do.

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