Blu-ray/DVD, Reviews

“Correspondence” an Act of Forbidden Love

A very different kind of love story Correspondence deals with issues, communications and science while it spins a sordid tale of love and lust. Now on DVD the film is nicely directed and written by Giuseppe Tornatore, the filmmaker of the Italian classic Cinema Paradiso. The movie takes you into a world of happenstance solving a way of “coming back from the dead”.

Prominent astrophysics professor Ed Phoerum (Jeremy Irons) has been on the lecture circuit for a while now. Actually more often than expected since taking on a beautiful young and brilliant astrophysics student and action stunt person Amy Ryan (Olga Kurylenko). Turning into an affair shortly after they met in his classroom, their sexual appetites have equaled the desire for Amy to complete PHD.

Amy Ryan (Olga Kurylenko) meets in a hotel room with a professor Ed Phoerum,(Jeremy Irons) in CORRESPONDENCE

As we meet the couple he’s just leaving her room at the hotel where Ed has spoken at a Astrophysics conference. They vow to meet again very soon, but life is about to take a bitter turn. Amy and Ed have been challenged because of the physical distance between them and with only opportunity of communicating via Skype. Not being able to touch and embrace the two find themselves at a loss.

The age difference, some 40 years, has never been a problem and a midlife crisis has not been the reason for Ed to have lost interest in his wife. It’s more like astrophysics itself,
Ed’s chance meeting among the stars with a woman of which he’s often dreamt. But, age has brought a different kind of watershed, one that has lead him to take a chance on extending his life with Amy.

Amy Ryan (Olga Kurylenko) chats with a professor professor Ed Phoerum, (Jeremy Irons) in CORRESPONDENCE

It’s a story of illicit love, a test of time and writer Giuseppe Tornatore’s excellent imagination that makes Correspondence a compelling and provocative life experience. Not for the ordinary moviegoer, most of Tornatore’s films aren’t commonplace or mainstream for that matter. It’s more like his film Malena, where age difference plays a huge part in the relationship. In that film it has a beautiful Italian woman, played by Monica Bellucci, who advances a young boys coming of age; with Correspondence it’s the awakening of Amy’s libido that delivers her from a tragic past and frees her to be a woman. Crafty, chancy and yet deftly brilliant, Toratore’s works are head above some of the best filmmakers.

Amy Ryan (Olga Kurylenko) in CORRESPONDENCE

Letting his actors open up to give amazing performances Jeremy Irons and Olga Kurylenko are at their level best. The chemistry between the two burns up the screen even when a computer is the medium for their being together. Kurylenko’s Amy turns out to be one of her better characters beyond performances in Hitman, Max Payne, Quantum of Solace and Oblivion. Here she’s able to keep the action actor persona in a romance where she delivers her heartrending skills as well.

Irons fits into his role of love struck Professor Ed Phoerum like a glove. He’s infatuated by Amy, even surprised that she wants him beyond their difference in age. Yet he knows how to continuously draw her into the mysteries of their forbidden love while knowing he’s a married man. I like this role for Irons even more than Reversal of Fortune and Lolita (remake), but it’s not his best drama as that goes to M. Butterfly.

Olga Kurylenko plays Amy Ryan in CORRESPONDENCE

Correspondence has not been rated by the MPAA but contains nudity, movie making violence, language and sensuality. Use caution when watching the DVD if youngsters are in the home.

FINAL ANALYSS: A cool film for mid-life romantics, actors and indie film buffs.

Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Jeremy Irons, Olga Kurylenko, Simon Johns, James Warren, Shauna Macdonald, Oscar Sanders, Paolo Calabresi, Irina Karatcheva, Paul Ridley. 
Directed and written by: Giuseppe Tornatore
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Drama, Romance
Running Time: 1 hr. 56 min.
Video Release Date: June 27, 2017
Language: English
Reviewed Format: DVD
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Widescreen 16:9 (2:40 LBX)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Quebecois
Number of Discs: 1 Disc
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Released in: DVD and Digital HD

The comments within this review are the critic’s expressed opinions.

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com