Unlucky in love and wanting to get as far away from their problems as possible, American Amanda (Diaz) and Englishwoman Iris (Winslet) swap homes for The Holidays. While initially overwhelmed in their new environments, both women quickly adjust to their homes-away-from-home and find something that neither had expected to find—happiness. (Tricia Spears)
Special features include commentary with Director Nancy Meyers and guests, the 18-minute making-of featurette, previews, and up-front ads.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 DVD exhibits deep black levels and good shadow delineation, making for a nicely dimensional image. Pixilization is not a problem, but edge enhancement can be noticed at times, especially when there are high-contrast transitions. The color scheme is surprisingly neutral, awash in hues of brown and gold. The effect actually matches the story well, which is where the surprise came for me. The Blu-ray Disc adds the requisite improvement in detail and color depth afforded by the high-definition format, but fine details are not as well rendered as on the best releases. Fleshtones seem to have a pinkish tint in this version that I did not notice in the DVD release, and shadow delineation is not as accurate as it could be. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is typical of this genre, with a good front stage, basic surround envelopment, and little use of the LFE channel. Dialogue sounds natural, and subtle atmospheric effects delivered through the corner full-range channels make for a fairly believable soundstage. Effects are not phantom imaged very well, but the soundtrack also does not detract from the storytelling, which is a key feature of any good encoding. The uncompressed linear PCM encoding found on the Blu-ray Disc has a hard edge to the dialogue and sounds slightly strident. Dynamic range is good, though, as even the most subtle effects are easily discernable in the mix. (Danny Richelieu)