Based on real events, "A Hidden Life" is about an unsung hero, Franz Jägerstätter (Diehl), who refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War II. Although the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, his unwavering beliefs and his love for his wife Pam and their three children keep his spirit alive. (Gary Reber)
Special features include a digital code.
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 using the Red Epic Dragon and Red Epic-W Helium camera systems (6K/7K) and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. The cinematography often exhibits a "fish-eye" optical warping of the imagery as for a stylistic purpose, which enhances the unsettling mood and subject matter of the storytelling. The imagery is supported with natural light for the most part, which enhances the realism but leaves some interior scenes wanting in greater delineation. The color palette is very saturated and exhibits warm and rich hues that are very dense in texture. Earthy tones predominate throughout with brilliant greens and wheat browns. Black levels are pleasing. There is a noticeable slight push toward blue tones in the outdoor segments. There are some brief insertions of black-and-white archival material pertaining to the Nazis and Hitler, including the film's opening moments. Evidently these segments are from "Triumph Of The Will," and are window-boxed in the Academy ratio. The editing is extremely stylized and segments and scenes jump abruptly. Resolution is superb with fine textural detail exhibited throughout. Contrast is excellent as well. Close-ups are amazing in expressing peasant hardness of facial features, hair, and beards in contrast to the elite overseers. This is an unusually stylized picture that is captivating throughout. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel sountrack features a wonderful James Newton Howard orchestral/choral score, which is haunting and occupies a wide and deep soundstage that envelops the soundfield. Surround energy is generally enveloping rather than discretely directional, and includes ambient environmental effects, most notable in the numerous outdoor scenes. Bass sounds natural as with the steam locomotive trains that pan throughout the soundfield. Atmospherics effectively enhance realism as do sound effects. The sound of hay, wind, and music are constant emotional elements that enhance and set the mood of the reflective tone of the storytelling. Sound effects are realistic, such as the sound of rivers and streams and a grist-mill-powered granary. Foley is excellent. Dialogue is at times non-discernible, as the dialogue is in German with no subtitles and while mostly well integrated, there is lot that is ADR produced. This is a very appealing and engaging soundtrack that is realistic-sounding throughout. (Gary Reber)