Kate (Catherine Keener) and her family appear to be a normal happy family. She runs a unique furniture store. Kate and her husband, Alex (Oliver Platt) buys her furniture from relatives of deceased individuals and sells them for outrageous prices. Abby (Sarah Steele) is a teenager going through her toughest youngest years. Not understanding the true meaning of her mother’s kindness for the poor but idolizes Mary (Amanda Peet) for her superficial personality. Amanda lives with Rebecca (Rebecca Hall) who takes care of her grandma who happens to live next to Kate on an apartment that she owns and are waiting for her to pass away in order to expand their living. However, things suddenly make Kate think about her actions, her business, and take on life and become very reflective of the things around her. But, is it to late to regret and change your ways?
Please Give was a very honest movie. It wasn’t trying to be something it wasn’t nor it relied on cheap tear jerking moments in order to capture the audience. It was a simple movie with a deeper message and motive that managed to deliver it without going into intricacies and deeper complexities than needed. Each character developed nicely, filling each gap the other left behind and giving richness to the already easygoing story. The movie couldn’t have worked as well as it did without Catherine Keener, whose performance is above the rest of the cast. She was very good for her role, but what’s really striking about the way she portrayed Kate was her humility and humble feeling she gave to the character. From the get go viewers can instantly see Kate’s intentions and very human side which is what her character calls for.
The film bases its story on the very basic human emotions, stages in life, and appreciation for life. It’s pretty easy to see all these things come together and not rely on fake disingenuous moments. Writers really emphasized on developing a story that showed each character’s personalities and take on life. We can see how each character changes as the story evolves. Finding a deeper meaning in life is not as simple as each character thought. The character’s inside turmoil and personal view of life drives each one of them to see their own purpose. Kate’s turmoil is much more apparent when she starts to doubt about what she is doing, the way she is living life, and what the things she does for a living. Her conscience completely over takes her and we see her evolution throughout the film. Please Give is a touching film and delivers a clear message without getting too complex.
Please Give arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG4-AVC encode framed at 2.35:1. Please Give isn’t necessarily eye candy and I am sure it will leave more than one person wondering why it looks the way it does. The 16mm cameras used by the director gives this movie a soft pale look and yes it is completely intentional. The colors are well reproduced throughout and black levels are stable. Detailing varies, sometimes the image appears soft and at times it’s detailed. Skin tones are natural. Again, the film is not a looker and the soft look is completely intentional. With that being said Please Give looks exactly as the director intended.
Please Give arrives on Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless audio track. Please Give is dialog heavy so don’t expect it to put your home theater to work. Dialogue is clean and clear. Rears are subtlety used for ambience effects and other atmospherics. The score comes out the surrounds very nicely. For a film that doesn’t require much power the track handles every small nuance along with everything it throws at it.
Q&A with Nicole Holofcener – A short questionnaire for the director that just simply doesn’t fulfill the gap left by the missing audio commentary.
Behind The Scenes of Please Give – This seems like a very generic interview pieces of the film in the background.
Outtakes – This is a very generic gag reel; it’s a bit pointless to say the least.
Trailers – Get Low, MicMacs, Eat Prey Love, The Pillars of Earth, Mother and Child, Animal Kingdom, and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.
Please Give is a moving and touching film from beginning to end. We truly see the evolution among each other while seeking a deeper look at themselves and the way they see life. In terms of the video and audio presentation, the film meets the director’s intention and while is not for everyone’s taste it is satisfying enough to enjoy. The supplements are hit and miss at the same time, it is missing an audio commentary track would of rounded off this film, but together the Q&A and the behind the scenes should keep you entertained. Please Give is recommended.