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Blu-ray Review: Motherless Brooklyn

January 28, 2020

By John Corrado

One of the most overlooked movies of last year was Edward Norton’s excellent, 1950s-set detective movie Motherless Brooklyn, which he directs and stars in as a New York City private investigator living with Tourette syndrome. The film seemed to come and go in theatres with not enough fanfare, but it’s arriving on Blu-ray this week, and I hope that more people will be encouraged to check this one out.

This is a film noir in the classic sense, with shades of films like Chinatown, and if you are a fan of the genre like I am, Motherless Brooklyn is a highly enjoyable experience. It’s a beautifully crafted work, filled with excellent performances and resonant themes about housing inequality and racial discrimination. For more on the film itself, my full review can be found right here.

The Blu-ray also includes a commentary track by Norton, as well as a roughly ten minute featurette entitled Making-Of: Edward Norton’s Methodical Process, which features other members of the cast and crew talking about how Norton would seamlessly switch in and out of character to fulfill his roles as both actor and director, and touches upon his unique approach to adapting Jonathan Letham’s 1999 novel of the same name for the screen. The piece also all too briefly talks about Daniel Pemberton’s jazz score for the film and Thom Yorke’s haunting original song “Daily Battles,” which by all rights should have gotten an Oscar nomination. This is followed by about five minutes of deleted scenes.

Motherless Brooklyn is a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release. It’s 144 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: January 28th, 2020

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