The One I Love (Blu-ray Review)

the one I love whysoblu bluWhat lengths can one go to in an effort to save a marriage?  That is a question that is not only brought up in The One I Love, but explored in ways that one would not expect.  While it would be a disservice to reveal why that is the case, it should be known that there is a realization early on that takes this enjoyable film out of the seemingly ordinary mold it looks to be filling, and heads in a whole other direction that will make the film quite memorable, even if the script does not quite nail the landing.  Now this film festival hit is available on Blu-ray.



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Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass star as Sophie and Ethan; a couple that have lost the spark in their marriage and are looking to get it back.  Thanks to arrangements from a marriage counselor, played by Ted Danson, Sophie and Ethan head out to a house in the country for the weekend, in an effort to escape their own lives and possibly rekindle their relationship.  While the weekend starts off well enough, an unusual dilemma soon presents itself, making things much more complicated, intriguing, and pretty weird all around.

Yes, I have to be vague, but The One I Love turned out to be a fine, in terms of the basic genre the film can be placed under, which is then flipped on its head due to its storytelling twist.  The One I Love adds a Kafkaesque dynamic to the weekend that this couple has voluntarily signed up for.  I would not say the film turns into a horror movie (although the thought did cross my mind at first), but it does allow for deeper consideration about how to get in touch with a loved one, let alone think about oneself.

The film’s greatest assets are obvious.  Both actors are game to play up aspects of their personalities that could be tricky to juggle, but manage to come across quite well, given the nature of this story.  Mark Duplass certainly feels more at home with this type of material, given how he needs to play charming and nebbish at the same time in some instances.  Moss has some very interesting beats to play, given how we see her interact with her husband, based on the circumstances.  By the end of it, I would go as far to say that Moss ends up really dominating the film with what she has to offer, as far as the strength of these performances go.  The best thing I can say, while remaining frustratingly vague (I apologize), is that she has to do some facial acting that is incredibly impressive, if one is really into the type of story being told and really feeling for her character.

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If the film has any problem it is in the way it chooses to dole out information.  One the one hand, The One I Love presents a scenario that is hard to describe in any logical sense and the film could be better off by not attempting to.  On the other, there is an element in the writing that suggests there was not enough confidence to let things be, which led to a bit more explanation than was maybe needed, ultimately resulting in a film with some ideas that do not need to be expanded on, but also feel unresolved in a way that does not work just because ambiguity is sometimes enjoyable to think about.

Minor issues aside, the performances from this cast that consists of mainly two people, acting in one main location, are solid throughout.  There are some neat ideas being presented and I was certainly happier with a film that breaks conventions, within the bounds of an indie, instead of travelling down familiar territory.  The ambition certainly wins out in the case of The One I Love.


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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Clarity/Detail: For an indie film, The One I Love features a solid video presentation.  That comes from the digital photography mixed with the natural lighting, leading to a lot of very clean shots throughout.  Details scattered throughout this film, in its minimal settings, make for one that is fine to look at. There is a lot of definition that really works to the advantage of this Blu-ray presentation.

Depth: There is some good depth here, as we get some tricky shots requiring actors to be in the foreground and background at the same time for narrative purposes. It sounds obvious, but yes, the way depth serves as a factor makes a difference, which is notable.

Black Levels: Black levels are strong enough, though some instances during the night time sequences, some scenes come off a little lighter than others.

Color Reproduction: Colors are defined well enough, with the items in and around the house popping the most and some clothing options adding a little extra at times as well.  Given the natural lighting, we only get to take in so much as far as this goes.

Flesh Tones: Facial features and textures come across quite strong.

Noise/Artifacts: Nada



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Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: Spanish

Dynamics: This area again shows how the film has a few tricks up its sleeve, given the budget, as the use of score, dialogue, and some minor tricks lead to a nice balance overall.

Low Frequency Extension: Not a tone to take away here, though the film’s final act becomes a bit more intense, leading to some nice ways to incorporate the LFE channel.

Surround Sound Presentation: Music and ambiance are balanced well, as far as providing solid structuring for the various channels on a home surround system.

Dialogue Reproduction: Everyone is loud and clear in this film.



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Very little to be found, but the two items presented do clear up a lot of the challenges one could tell took place in the making of this film.

Features Include:

  • Feature Commentary with Director Charlie McDowell and Mark Duplass – This is a fun commentary track that provides lots of good information about the making of the film, the ideas behind it, the structure, and plenty more.
  • Visual Effects Reel (HD, 2:01) – A look at how the visual effects were accomplished in this film by way of green screen. Nice and quick.


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The One I Love is a solid way to twist around the romantic comedy formula.  Thanks to strong performances, a clever twist, and the fallout that comes from the twist, the film is quite interesting to watch and fun in a fantastical sort of way that lends itself to further consideration, once the film has ended.  The Blu-ray features a solid presentation overall, with two strong extra features, despite a lack of much else.  Worth a look for sure.

Order Your Copy Here:

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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