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The Devil Wears Prada - DVD Review

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</script></div>{/googleAds}Every once in a while there comes along an actor so well suited to a particular role that once the two meet, the screen erupts with cinematic magic. A few recent examples that come to mind are Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, Kevin Spacey as the villainous Lex Luthor in Superman Returns, and not so recently, Jack Nicholson as the whacky Joker in Tim Burton's Batman. As you watch these performances, it quickly becomes evident you're a witness to something special. Add Meryl Streep's turn in The Devil Wears Prada to the list.

In The Devil Wears Prada, Streep is Miranda Priestley, the dragon-lady editor of top fashion magazine, Runway, in the adaptation of Lauren Weisberger's New York Times best selling novel of the same name. Streep's is a flashy and exhibitionistic role that most would feel compelled to take over the top. But instead, she plays it with a restrained, almost understated dimension that, in spite of her offensively dehumanizing demands, makes us want to love her title character. Streep displays a masterful ability to wring humor from a character that dismisses her employees' conversations with a stinging "that's all." Uncomfortable, breathy laughter filled the audience emanating from those who've ever had a boss like Miranda.

Even with good to great performances all around, it's Streep's that runs the show. She's boss to Andy (Anne Hathway) a frumpy little journalism grad who yearns to write for Vanity Fair or New Yorker, but realizes that by sticking it out as Miranda's assistant, she can eventually write her own ticket to any job in the Big Apple. Screenwriter Weisberger patterned Andy after her own experiences as assistant to legendary Vogue editor Anna Wintour. But director David Frankel (Sex in the City, Entourage) tones down Wintour's screaming, flailing rants with Streep's kinder, gentler Satan.

Andy's first look at the working world is tainted by the narcissistic prism of Miranda and her anthill of fashionista drones. The more of Miranda's life she sees, the more she realizes that success sometimes comes at too great a sacrifice. Although hers resembles a moral and ethical journey that many of us have taken throughout our careers, rarely has ours ever been quite so intense. Andy is told that she will know when she is doing a good job when her personal life begins to fall apart. When her whole life goes up in smoke, that's when she'll know she's up for a promotion. Andy quickly learns that it's not only important to succeed, but to succeed on one's own terms.

In spite of Streep's scene chewing revelry, somehow plenty of screen time still remains for Andy's co-workers and fellow bunker mates. There's Nigel (Stanley Tucci), a sassy-tongued art director who eventually takes Andy under his wing, Emily (Emily Blunt), Miranda's brow-beaten first assistant, and two love interests to Andy, Nate (Adrien Grenier), and Christian, played by Something New's Simon Baker. All deliver top-notch performances and each is lovingly treated as something more than a simple side character by screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna.

The Devil Wears Prada could very easily have fallen into the deep and fiery crevasse of typical mainstream comedy hell where it would have found plenty of recent company. But a peppy script featuring well-rounded characters portrayed by very talented actors, and a brilliant performance by Meryl Streep keep this one flying high. At times, it unfolds in a somewhat formulaic manner, but a few little twists and surprises keep the proceedings fresh and snappy.


DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1

Subtitles: Spanish, English

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; trailer; deleted scenes; commentary; making-of featurettes; gag reel.

* Commentary - Feature-length audio commentary with Frankel, producer Wendy Finerman, costume designer Patricia Field, screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, editor Mark Livolsi and director of photography Florian Ballhaus.
* Featurettes
o The Trip to the Big Screen (12:02)
o NYC and Fashion (6:25)
o Fashion Visionary: Patricia Field (08:45)
o Getting Valentino (02:53)
o Boss From Hell (02:36)
* Deleted Scenes - 15 scenes that didn't make the final cut - with optional Frankel/Livolsi commentary (21:35)
* Gag Reel (05:09)
* Trailers - The Devil Wears Prada; The Illusionist; The Family Stone; In Her Shoes

Number of discs: - 1- Packaging: Single disc keepcase


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