‘The Chaperone’ Premiering on PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel Aug. 10

PBS Distribution will begin streaming The Chaperone on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel Aug. 10.

Based on Laura Moriarty’s bestselling novel, the film reunites the writer (Julian Fellowes), director (Michael Engler) and star (Elizabeth McGovern) of “Downton Abbey” for an immersive and emotional period piece.

The movie tells the story of the teenage Louise Brooks (Haley Lu Richardson), the 1920s silver screen sensation who as a 15-year-old student in Kansas earns an opportunity to study with a dance troupe in New York, and is accompanied by a local society matron (McGovern) who quickly has her hands full dealing with the rebellious teen.

The movie also stars Campbell Scott, Géza Röhrig, Miranda Otto, Robert Fairchild and Blythe Danner.

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The subscription rate for PBS Masterpiece is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. The Chaperone will also be streaming in PBS Passport, a digital member benefit available through local stations.

Romance ‘Five Feet Apart’ Blossoms on Digital May 24, Disc June 11 from Lionsgate

The romance Five Feet Apart will come out on digital May 24 and Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD and on demand June 11 from Lionsgate.

The film follows 17-year-old Stella (Haley Lu Richardson) who has to spend much of her time living at a hospital as a cystic fibrosis patient. When she meets Will (Cole Sprouse), a fellow patient, she feels a powerful connection — but restrictions dictate that she and Will maintain a safe distance between them. As their feelings grow, Stella and Will face a life-changing question: How does love feel when even a single touch is off limits?

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Bonus features include four making-of featurettes, an audio commentary with director Justin Baldoni, deleted scenes and an alternate ending.

Operation Finale

Munich meets Argo in this low-key depiction of Israel’s secret mission in the years after World War II to capture Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and bring him to trial for his role in the Holocaust.

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Universal;
Drama;
Box Office $17.61 million;
$29.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for disturbing thematic content and related violent images, and for some language.
Stars Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Mélanie Laurent, Lior Raz, Nick Kroll, Haley Lu Richardson, Peter Strauss.

At the end of World War II, as so many Nazi leaders were being captured, or committing suicide to avoid facing justice for war crimes, SS officer Adolf Eichmann managed to flee from Europe.

Widely considered to be one of the major architects of the Nazi Holocaust that resulted in the death of 6 million European Jews, Eichmann was considered a prime target for the Nazi hunters who popped up after the war, though his whereabouts remained a mystery for more than a decade. He was eventually spotted in Argentina, where many former Nazis fled because their ideology meshed well with local political movements at the time.

In 1960, Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, organized a secret mission to capture Eichmann and bring him to Israel to stand trial for war crimes.

Operation Finale dramatizes the key events of the mission, though not as intensely as other depictions of Mossad operations on the big screen, such as Steven Spielberg’s Munich.

So much of the story involves characters waiting around and getting the proper paperwork in order — not exactly riveting viewing. As a result, director Chris Weitz puts less emphasis on the process of finding Eichmann and the decision to capture him, and focuses more on the characters involved in the operation, particularly the growing rapport between agent Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) and Eichmann (Ben Kingsley). Fortunately, the performances are strong enough all around to hold audience interest.

One interesting affectation Weitz brought to his handling of the performances was an edict against artificial accents, so the actors use their normal speaking voice regardless of what nationality they are meant to be. It’s a noticeable choice but certainly not as distracting as an actor stumbling through an accent they have no mastery of.

Weitz also rearranges the chronology of events to ramp up the tension a bit, aided by a pulsating musical score by Alexandre Desplat.

In a solo commentary, Weitz says he thought of Operation Finale as a spiritual companion to another Spielberg film, Bridge of Spies, which takes place at the same time. As such, he included a brief scene of the Mossad agents hearing a news report over the radio of American spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers being captured by the Soviet Union.

Weitz also mentions how the story parallels that of Argo in that it too climaxes with an escape via plane before local enemies can figure out what is going on (in this case, Eichmann’s family and supporters conducting a manhunt to find him after he disappears), and how he went about structuring the sequence so as to avoid comparisons.

The Blu-ray also includes a six-and-a-half-minute “Inside the Operation” featurette about the making of the film with interviews from the cast and filmmakers.

A featurette about the actual events would have been an appropriate inclusion as well, but as long as the film encourages people to look into the real story more, it’s definitely a win for the study of history.

Operation Finale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Universal Releasing ‘Operation Finale’ Digitally Nov. 20, on Disc Dec. 4

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release MGM’s Operation Finale digitally Nov. 20, and on Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Dec. 4.

Based on a true story, the film follows an Israeli intelligence mission in 1960 to capture high-ranking Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) in Argentina and prosecute him for the deaths of millions of Jews in concentration camps during World War II.

Directed by Chris Weitz, the film also stars Oscar Isaac, Mélanie Laurent, Lior Roz, Nick Kroll, Haley Lu Richardson, Joe Alwyn, Pepe Rapazote and Greta Scacchi.

Blu-ray and DVD extras include a feature commentary with Weitz and the making-of featurette “Inside the Operation.”