Actors: Jessica Biel, Kaya Scodelario, Aneurin Barnard
Director: Francesca Gregorini
Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen, Dolby, Subtitled, THX
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Well Go USA
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Run Time: 96 minutes
Kaya Scodelario is making her move into the big leagues of
filmmaking after establishing herself early on as a child actor in the British
television series, “Skins.” Following this film will be her big break in yet
another “teenager in danger in a dystopian future society” narrative based on a
young adult book franchise. Hopefully The
Maze Runner provides more opportunities for Scodelario than The Truth About Emanuel, otherwise her
may be short-lived. Hollywood
The biggest trouble with The Truth About Emanuel isn’t necessarily Scodelario, though whether it is the way the character was written or how she played the role, I never found myself feeling any connection to Emanuel. If nothing else, she just appears to be a typical know-it-all naïve teenage girl. Her awkward stumbling through life’s obstacles is expected, though made more unbearable by the arrogance inserted into her character. But, as I said, this isn’t the largest problem with the film. Worse than the characters or the actors who play them is the plot of the film, which resembles a Lifetime movie with a bigger budget.
There is something of a twist in the narrative, and though I sensed it coming long before it was revealed, I will refrain from spoiling that surprise for any readers still considering watching this film. Emanuel becomes friends with a new neighbor (Jessica Biel), with clear intentions of using the young woman as a replacement mother figure. Although she has a new step-mother who is eager to fill the role for Emanuel, it is attention quickly and harshly rejected. There is something of a coming-of-age story crammed into the melodrama which takes over the narrative once revealed, including a love interest in a confused young boy.
The Blu-ray includes an interview with the director Francesca Gergorini, who seems to have inserted fantasy sequences into the end of the film in a desperate attempt to showcase talents outside of the strange melodrama. There are also deleted scenes, outtakes and a trailer.
Entertainment Value: 3.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4.5/10
Historical Significance: 1/10
Special Features: 5.5/10