United Kingdom, A
Based on the book by Susan Williams, A United Kingdom is the inspiring true story of the forbidden love between the King of Botswana (Oyelowo) and a white English woman (Pike) in the 1940s. When they decided to marry just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa, it caused an international uproar. But their passion romance triumphed over every obstacle and changed the course of African history. (Gary Reber)
Special features include a making-of featurette (HD 06:19), the featurettes Filming In Botswana (HD 06:06) and The Legacy of Seretse And Ruth (HD 03:48), the London Film Festival Opening Night Gala Premiere (HD 06:08), the theatrical trailer, upfront previews, and a digital copy.
The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upscaled to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally with an Arri Alexa camera system. Picture quality is wonderful. The color palette is rich and warm, both in the fog-enshrouded drab London settings and in the far-brighter Botswana land settings. The England segments tend to portray a bluish cast, while the African segments are yellowish casted, but beautifully earthy. Cinematography is often breathtaking in both scope and lighting effect. Fleshtones are perfectly natural throughout. Resolution is excellent, especially in the Botswana scenes, with fine detail exhibited in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. Contrast also is excellent, with exceptionally bright highlights, deep blacks, and revealing shadow delineation. This is a brilliant picture with reference-quality imagery throughout. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack, while dialogue focused, features a wonderful orchestral score that seams together the drama, with highlights of swing music in the London segments and African ethnic music in the African segments. Ambient atmospherics effectively provide convincing soundscapes, especially in the African segments. The soundfield is often fully energized effective four-channel envelopment, mainly due to the music. Dialogue is consistently intelligible with good spatial integration. This is a captivating soundtrack. (Gary Reber)