Set in 1979 Santa Barbara, 20th Century Women follows Dorothea (Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son, Jamie (Zumann), at a time brimming with cultural change. When Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women––Abbie (Gerwig), a punk artist boarding in Fields’s home; and Julie (Fanning), a savvy teenage neighbor, along with William (Crudup), a bohemian handyman who rooms in Dorothea’s house, they form a makeshift family that inspires them for the rest of their lives. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Writer/Director Mike Mills, the featurettes Making 20th Century Women (HD 09:31) and 20th Century Cast (HD 10:49), trailers, upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.00:1 1080p AVC picture exhibits a perfectly natural appearance with a well-balanced color palette rendered with rich and warm hues. The imagery is generally bright and colors are vivid, never exaggerated. Contrast is well balanced with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Resolution is excellent with fine detail evident throughout, especially during close-ups. This is a pleasing visual experience with a wonderful natural color palette. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue focused with good spatial integration. The periodic narration is nicely forward sounding. Atmospherics are realistic, and sound effects are limited. While mostly monaural, the music score, including the punk rock segments, energize the surrounds aggressively. As noted, this is an actors’ outing with periodic music that adds sonic dimension. (Gary Reber)