What is this all about?|
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Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway) is a rookie journalist trying to make a break in New York and has found herself offered an interview for Runway, a world famous fashion magazine for which people will struggle for years to work for - but fashion is something she simply Andrea not care about and is looking for a job to give her experience before she finds a 'proper' journal to write for. With her blunt honesty, she captures the attention of the magazine's tyrannical editor Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) who offers her the job, but refuses to go easy on the new girl who has to learn fast...
The Devil Wears Prada is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Lauren Weisberger which was seemingly based on the author's time working for Vogue magazine and specifically its editor Anna Wintour on whom the character of Miranda seems to have been based. Aside from the obvious compression required for a movie (all references to Andrea's family are removed for example), the screenplay also removes a key theme from the book concerning Jewish Identity - while the novel only makes brief references to Andrea's Judaism as her family is largely atheist in their attitudes, it is still present there, as is the idea that Miranda has gone as far to change her name to escape her Jewish identity. All of these ideas are exorcised from the screenplay, perhaps in an attempt to sanitise the film for international markets. The climax and conclusion of the book are completely changed, the conclusion of the novel in particular being a rather long-term process that might have been hard to film.
Away from the novel, The Devil Wears Prada is an interesting if rather shallow film. While there is some characterisation, it seems rather token in many places, particularly with the minor characters, and could have used a lot more expansion: Nigel becomes almost a mentor to Andrea (and is very useful to the storyline in transforming her from hometown to chic), but seems to have no motivation to do so. When Andrea herself changes, her personality never seems to from what we very briefly get to see at the start (in fact, she just seems to get better at her job) but her friends are very insistant that she has, as though this is enough to convince the audience that a change has happened. Even the reason for Miranda choosing to hire Andrea is never really explained. Altogether it usually seems that the storyline would lend itself much more effectively to a television series and a very similar storyline was handled rather more effectively in the television series Ugly Betty that began in the same year.
On the fashion industry as a whole, the storyline is similarly shallow - Andrea's attitudes express the average lay-person's views towards the business, self-indulgent and a waste of money, but these are pacified by a quick little speech from Miranda that explains how even bargain basement clothes are descended from the decisions made on the catwalks. These speech seems to be aimed as much at the audience, most of whom would be fashion fans and essentially serves to tell the audience to relax and not worry that they themselves are shallow. Director David Frankel has worked previously on the television series Sex and the City and this film looks like nothing more than an episode of that series, with some fitting if generic direction. The film does benefit from real New York location shooting, rather than being filmed in Los Angeles with stock shots (a crime committed by The Women (2008)). Fashion fans will be impressed at the size of the wardrobe displayed throughout the film, with a wide number of well known brands on display.
Meryl Streep takes on Miranda and gives a very fine (Oscar nominated) performance with a couple of very effective emotional scenes but mostly a steely faced attitude. The gorgeous Anne Hathaway plays Andrea and it is hard to imagine her being as unfashionable as the character is at the film's start but she really suits the outfits she is given later on, while attractive British actress Emily Blunt gives a superbly bitchy (but never unpleasant) performances as Emily. A number of fashion industry figures appear in the film, including Valentino Garavani while the novel's writer Lauren Weisberger has a brief appearance as a nanny.
It is amusing to consider that many members of the fashion industry who were invited to cameo in the film, turned down the opportunity because of apparent warnings from Vogue magazine, who seemingly provided the inspiration for the original book. Despite the protestations of the Andrea character, the film is in no way a critique of the fashion industry and through everything seems to openly celebrate it. The film boasts a fair storyline with some good laughs, but a general lack of characterisation makes it rather shallow in places - solid acting and competent production help to keep it watchable. One for any fans of Sex and the City and generally "chick flick" cinema.
|Anyone famous in it?||
Meryl Streep - a veteran actress who has worked on many well known films including The Deer Hunter (1978)
Anne Hathaway - American actress who appeared in Brokeback Mountain (2005)
|Directed by anyone interesting?||David Frankel - a New York born director who has worked on the television series Band of Brothers and Sex and the City as well as directing the family comedy Marley & Me (2008).|
|Any gore or violence ?||None|
|Any sex or nudity?||None|
|Who is it for?||Fans of chick flick cinema will certainly enjoy this.
|Visuals||Original Aspect Ratio - 2.35:1. Anamorphically Enhanced. Colour.
Picture quality is pristine - a sharp and detailed transfer.
|Audio||English 5.1 - sounds strong throughout.
English audio description 5.1
|Subtitles||English HOH and English for the audio commentary.|
|Extras||This disc includes:
|Region||Region 2 (UK, Europe) - PAL|
|Other regions?||Released on a similar disc worldwide, audio and subtitle options vary. Was available as a limited edition in 'Target' stores in the US with a bonus disc containing two extra featurettes. Also available on Blu-Ray.|
|Cuts?||Believed to be fully uncut. Print used is English language.