Baaria describes the progress of a young man—as well as that of his country—as Peppino takes work as a shepherd to support his family in the small Sicilian town of Bagheria, nicknamed "Baaria" by its residents. During the next five decades he experiences a gamut of emotions and awakenings, as he finds the love of his live, is a witness to dramatic political change and intellectual upheaval, and discovers a destiny he could have never imagined. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary by Giuseppe Tornatore, a conversation with Tornatore by Mario Sesti (SD 25:51), the featurette Backstage (SD 29:34), a Venice Film Festival Special Event (SD 14:17), deleted scenes (SD 01:48), a photo gallery, a poster gallery, and the theatrical trailer.
The 1.78:1 1080p AVC picture exhibits a stylized, dated look with a slight sepia-filtered effect. As a result, color fidelity is effectively stylized, with generally weak hues and saturation. Fleshtones are uneven as well, but at times are natural looking. Contrast is crushed and blown-out, thus black levels are weak and shadows far less dramatic. Resolution is far less detailed, with an overall softer focus. As the film progresses through the years, the picture quality progressively improves as well. Still, the result suggests an era of long ago and nicely supports the storytelling. (Gary Reber)
The Italian-language DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is a mishmash of sounds and music, with a forward-dialogue presence. Ennio Morricone's music is at times light, expansive, and supportive. Fidelity is a bit light and strident sounding, though, at times there is effective fullness and good bass extension. Surround envelopment, at times, is strong and aggressive, particularly music and atmospherics, but without particularly distinctive directionality. The soundtrack is not particularly distinguished, and the overall sonics definitely convey a uniquely "Italian" feel. Still, the soundtrack is supportive and really carries the storytelling. (Gary Reber)