Award-winning director Dominik Moll (With A Friend Like Harry) returns with another thriller exploring our darker desires. Two depressed farmers, an unfaithful wife, a lovelorn waitress and an African con artist are drawn together in a mystery surrounding the disappearance of Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s glamourous Evelyne Ducat. The action switches between international locations as the links between the characters are gradually revealed. Stylishly shot and elegantly structured, Only the Animals finds Moll at the height of his storytelling powers and working with an excellent cast, whose characters’ motivations call into question the contrast between our public and private lives.
For in-depth thoughts on Only The Animals, please see my colleague Mike Vaughn’s review from its original theatrical release here.
Only The Animals comes to Blu-Ray in a 1080p presentation that is truly a beauty. This is a visually rich film with gorgeous shots of nature throughout where you can see an incredible amount of detail. The vivid colors really pop from the earthy colors of Abidjan to the splendid hues of clothing and elements of the production design in the lavish house. The white levels are handled beautifully, especially the piercing snow, along with the intensely deep blacks that do not appear to suffer from any compression artifacts. There are no instances of intrusive digital noise in the presentation. The skin tones look very detailed and natural all around. This presentation is definitely a winner from Cohen Media Group.
The film comes to Blu-Ray with an immersive DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track in the original French. The movie does not feature much in the way of action, but there is a constant stream of environmental activity which comes through particularly well. The low end of the track is not very active, as subtle environmental sounds make more of a showing in the surrounds. The dialogue and sound effects are appropriately balanced with the soundtrack where nothing gets lost in the track. Surround channels get some nice activity during the nature scenes such as a snowstorm and hearing chatter from the villages. There are no issues whatsoever with this track.
- Trailer: The two-minute trailer is provided here.
Only The Animals is a pretty engaging, twist-filled mystery that is much broader in scope than would appear at first glance. Moll crafts a tale that shows the domino effects of our choices in the context of a deadly deceit. The resolution leaves some storylines a bit underserved, but overall the complete package is very enjoyable. The performances, especially, are very strong from the diverse ensemble. Cohen Media Group and Kino Lorber have released a Blu-Ray featuring a stellar A/V presentation but next to nothing in the way of special features. If you are a fan of mysterious, interweaving narratives, give this one a shot. Recommended
Only The Animals is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Cohen Media Group and Kino Lorber have supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.