Lady Sings The Blues

Featured In Issue 254, March/April 2021

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Sidney Furie
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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"Lady Sings The Blues" brilliantly captures the essence of Billie Holiday (Ross), one of America's most loved and memorable jazz/blues singer. The film is filled with the greatest songs of the incomparable "Lady Day" and tells the story of her troubled life and career. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Executive Producer and Motown founder Berry Gordy, Director Sidney Furie and artist manager Shelly Berger; a making-of featurette "Behind The Blues" (SD 23:06) and seven deleted scenes (SD 21:03).

The 2.35:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed on film in anamorphic Panavision® with Panavision cameras and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. Picture quality is terrific with a stylized color palette that exhibits at times a sepia overtone that projects a warm appearance, especially in interiors. Exteriors appear less stylized and more natural. Colors at times are strongly saturated for a vibrant quality. Fleshtones appear accurate throughout. Contrast is well balanced with deep, solid blacks, revealing shadow delineation, and bright white levels. Resolution is revealing, especially during closeups of facial features, clothing and objects. A light layer of film grain creates a very cinematic appearance. This is a wonderfully colorful picture with good dynamic range. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack was originally produced in monaural with this soundtrack repurposed in multi-channel. But the essence of the original is retained with its predominant monaural character. An overall nuanced extension is enveloping in the surrounds. Clarity is excellent with intelligible dialogue with good spatial integration and terrific singing by Diana Ross. The music is nicely presented with excellent fidelity. Ross' singing and the big band accompaniment is superb. This is a well-crafted soundtrack that will please fan of Miss Holiday. (Gay Reber)