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New on Disc: 'Life Is Sweet' and more …

17 Jun, 2013 By: Mike Clark

Life Is Sweet

Criterion, Drama, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for language and a scene of sensuality.
Stars Alison Steadman, Jim
Broadbent, Claire Skinner, Jane Horrocks.
The Mike Leigh trademarks of superbly well-rounded characters and on-point ensemble acting were the ones Life Is Sweet set in motion for, comparably speaking, more of a mass audience than before. Though, truth to tell, Leigh had been slogging away in this basic milieu for years. Proof of this is in the supplements of this Criterion release, which I can almost swear gives Life a more vivid color palate than what I saw in theaters more than two decades ago. Future Oscar winner Jim Broadbent and the year’s National Society Best Actress winner Alison Steadman (married in real life to Leigh at the time) play a financially humble couple in the north-of-London suburbs whose struggles include a get-rich-slowly scheme involving the sale of food out of a trailer.
Extras: The Criterion supplements include an essay by critic David Sterritt, a newly recorded Leigh commentary, a 1991 Leigh interview and five short films.
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The File on Thelma Jordon 

Olive, Drama, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell
Corey, Paul Kelly, Joan Tetzel.
There was never even a Thelma VHS, so this one’s way overdue in getting a home release. Barbara Stanwyck plays a woman who warns the police of a possible future intruder who may be casing the house of an elderly aunt who’s loaded with jewels. Once we get the sense it’s all a smokescreen for a heist she herself plans to carry out, she pulls an assistant D.A. into her web.
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