Blu-ray Review: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt Deliver in ‘Young Adult’

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CHICAGO – Jason Reitman took more risks with “Young Adult” than any film in his career. The fact that those risks paid off with a film that’s ultimately less satisfying than “Juno” or “Up in the Air” is not the point. I love to see such a talent as Reitman trying something as risky as a film with a completely loathsome protagonist for which no redemption is asked or offered. And Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt simply rock in two of the best performances of their individual careers. I think Diablo Cody’s script lets all three of them down to a certain degree, but “Young Adult” is worth at least a rental for the performances alone. Blu-ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

It’s funny how the critical wheel turns. After “Young Adult” premiered at Toronto, it seemed to be getting nothing but universal praise. Theron and Oswalt were considered near-locks for Oscar nominations (and, to be fair, Oswalt did get a Chicago Film Critics nod) and Diablo Cody’s script was as well. As the film was skyrocketing in critical acclaim, I thought a few elements of it were a bit overrated. The performances are strong and I appreciate Reitman’s risks but Cody’s script is too thin for its own good, almost as if it’s a starting point for a more interesting project. “Young Adult” is a good film with great performances but the hype started to turn me off. It’s nowhere near the accomplishment of “Up in the Air.”

Then, interestingly, the hype turned. Audiences turned off to the film and, before you knew it, it was completely off the awards season radar. And I didn’t think that response was fair either. Oswalt and Theron are spectacular here and it’s a shame that Reitman’s biggest career risk to date resulted in his least-heralded work. I believe that “Young Adult” will find a loyal audience on Blu-ray and DVD. It starts now. The bandwagon for this film has been incredibly rocky with people jumping on and off from Toronto through its home release. Jump back on.

Young Adult was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 13th, 2012
Young Adult was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 13th, 2012
Photo credit: Paramount

Teen lit writer and one-time prom queen Mavis Gary (Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron) returns home determined to recapture her fading glory by winning back her married high school sweetheart. But her unlikely plan sends Mavis’ life spiraling further out of control, until she forms an unlikely bond with another old classmate who forces her to face adulthood’s harsh realities. Critics rave this darkly hilarious film from Academy Award-winning Writer Diablo Cody and Academy Award-nominated Director Jason Reitman is “brilliant and brave” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times).

Special Features:
o Filmmakers’ Commentary
o Misery Loves Company: The Making of Young Adult
o The Awful Truth: Deconstructing a Scene
o Deleted Scenes & More!

“Young Adult” stars Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson, and Elizabeth Reaser. It was written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 13th, 2012. content director Brian Tallerico

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