A visually stunning cautionary tale, Louis Malle’s 1992 film Damage is seen through the eyes of Stephen Fleming (Jeremy Irons), a proper middle-aged millionaire physician turned Tory member of Parliament. He has a devoted wife Ingrid (Miranda Richardson) to whom he shows obvious affection and two children, Martyn (Rupert Graves), a journalist and precocious teenage daughter Sally (Gemma Clark), who both appear well rounded. With a push from his influential father-in-law Edward Lloyd (Ian Bannen), well-educated and conservative with no personal scandals, Stephen looks like the perfect candidate for Prime Minister one day.
Things take a drastic turn when he introduces himself to the youthful Anna Barton (Juliette Binoche), who, it turns out, has been dating his son Martyn for the last few months. Nonetheless, Stephen finds himself drawn to her. The next time the two meets, they begin an intense sexual relationship. For Stephen, the sex is incredible, crossing over to the obsessive. In the biggest red flag ever, Anna cautions him to be careful. She shares that she was the incestuous object of her brothers desire as a teenager. Rather than face losing her, he committed suicide.
They continue to meet for sex, each with an intensity that seems to express deep seeded issues for both. While Anna’s issues are somewhat clear, Stephen’s issues are ambiguous. Maybe his well-heeled life isn’t enough, or just a mid-life crisis. Who knows? Despite the obvious dangers to his life and family, Stephen and Anna’s mutual obsession takes over. All the while they both continue to live their lives.
Adapted by David Hare from Josephine Hart’s bestseller of the same name, Damage is well acted by all (particularly, Miranda Richardson as the emotionally devastated wife), but occasionally laughable. At one point, Martyn announces his engagement to Anna!!! Even as his home and work life spiral, Stephen keeps telling himself this can all work out. meanwhile, its obvious this an inevitable train wreck that will result in serious damage for all involved.
Presented on Blu-ray from Australia’s imprint films, this transfer has been sourced from a”2K scan” in 1080p. the results are pleasing. The decidedly hazy photography has been well reproduced. Grain levels are refined throughout. Clarity and detail are impressive. Colors are well saturated and full. Blacks are inky. There are a couple of minor blemishes, but otherwise the print is clean. Skin tones appear natural and individual pores are noticeable. There are no major instances of crushing or banding.
Note: the disc will play on United States Blu-ray players.
The included LPCM 2.0 stereo track represents the film well. Well mixed, background effects and score never interfere with dialogue. Age related anomalies aren’t an issue. The score envelops nicely when called upon. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout.
English SDH subtitles are included.
The following extras are available.
- Vintage Production Featurettes with Cast and Crew (22:48)
- “The Making of Damage” (3:54)
- Director Louis Malle (5:03)
- Production (9:15)
- Jeremy Irons and Character (4:36)
- “One on One with Louis Malle” featurette (15:13)
- “Professor Hugo Frey on Damage” interview (15:13)
- “An Early Obsession” Interview with Editor John Bloom (31:11)
- Theatrical Trailer (2:32)
*In the past, Damage has been presented in two versions — an Unrated Version and R-Rated Version. The former has a few extra seconds of explicit sex.
- WITH LOVE COMES RISK
- WITH OBSESSION COMES
- Academy Award-winners Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune) and Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) are lovers locked in the grip of sexual obsession
- An obsession so strong it drinks passion, breathes fire, and consumes everything and everyone it touches