Woman Walks Ahead

Featured In Issue 231, September 2018

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Brief violence and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Susanna White
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DTS HD Lossless 6.1
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"Woman Walks Ahead" tells the fictionalized account of the true-life events of widowed New York portrait painter Catherine Weldon (Chastain). In the 1880s Weldon traveled alone to North Dakota to paint a portrait of Chief Sitting Bull (Greyeyes). Her arrival at Standing Rock is met with open hostility by a U.S. Army officer (Rockwell), who has stationed troops around the Lakota reservation to undermine Native American claims to the land. As Catherine and Sitting Bull grow closer, and as their friendship––and his life––are threatened by government forces, Catherine must stand up and fight for what is most important to her. (Gary Reber)

Special features included commentary with Director Susanna White, the featurette "A Making Of Story" (HD 10:30), three deleted scenes (HD 05:40), trailers, upfront previews, and a digital copy.

The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. This is a very beautiful rendering of the West, with panoramic vistas as a backdrop to the story. As such, there is mostly raw nature and simple structures and tents. The color palette is perfectly natural with vibrant and rich hues. The planes exhibit beautiful yellow and vivid green colors. The structures are vividly textured with earthy colors. Fires are naturally orangish in hue and snow appears perfectly natural in weight and texture. Horses are beautifully hued. Fleshtones are perfectly natural. Contrast is excellent with deep blacks and dark blues, revealing shadow delineation, and natural peak whites. Resolution is excellent as well, with incredible fine detail exhibited in structures, furnishings, dirt roads, clothing, and facial features such as complexions, skin pores, hair and beards. This is a magnificently beautiful picture to cherish. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is focused on natural sonic elements, such as the sound of wind as an almost constant background or foreground element, and at times heavy raindrops pounding on buffalo skin tents. Foley also is superb, with noticeable realism. The orchestral score is wonderful and at times featuries acoustical guitars. Deep bass is an aspect of the score. Gun and rifle shots sound perfectly realistic. There is no artificial sound effects. The other main element is the dialogue, which is consistently intelligible but a bit unnaturally forward. When Indians speak their native tongue, subtitles appear at the bottom of the screen. The scenes with Indians dancing are engaging, with the pounding of drums. Surround is often aggressive and at times directionalized. The ambience of the natural environment is nicely balanced, with surround energy nicely projected. This is a wonderful soundtrack that delivers a non-artificial holosonic® soundfield experience.(Gary Reber)