Winter In Wartime

Featured In Issue 159, September 2011

WSR Score4
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Sony Pictures Classics
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Martin Koolhoven
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Winter In Wartime takes place in Nazi-occupied Holland, 1945. In a snow-covered village, thirteen-year-old Michiel (Lakemeier) is drawn into the Resistance when he aids a British paratrooper. Michiel's boyish sense of defiance and adventure soon turns to danger and desperation, as he is forced to act without knowing whom to trust among the adults and
townspeople around him. Wartime's harsh reality encroaches on childhood innocence as Michiel confronts good and evil, courage and duplicity, and his own burden of responsibility. Based on the novel by Jan Terlouw. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a making-of featurette (SD 24:24), the theatrical trailer, up-front previews, and BD-Live functionality.

The 2.36:1 1080p AVC picture is stylized and exhibits a cold greenish/bluish character to emphasize the wintery coldness. Colors are effectively muted throughout, without a hint of a slightly warmer palette. Fleshtones are pale in hue, with slight touches of a reddish tone. Otherwise, the picture is pretty bland, except for the display of the deep red Nazi flag. Contrast is purposely restricted with subdued black levels but revealing shadow delineation. The imagery is a bit soft, but close-ups are more revealing of detail. This is a pleasing visual experience that perfectly services the storytelling. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is nicely produced with appropriate dynamic contrasts during a scene of a British aircraft crash and brief segments of gunfire. Otherwise, the sound is reserved, with low-level atmospherics and ambient sounds, such as wind, prominent as background support to the intelligible dialogue (subtitled in English). Foley is nicely supportive as well. The orchestral musical score is wonderfully spatial, with a wide and deep soundstage presence and revealing instrument timbres. The music provides the surround bite with an aggressive presence, enhanced with occasional sound effects energized with deep .1 LFE energy. This is a nicely produced soundtrack that provides a pleasing, supportive sonic experience. (Gary Reber)