HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS was directed by Jodie Foster from a screenplay by W. D. Richter and Chris Radantand stars Holly Hunter, Robert Downey, Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott, Steve Guttenberg and Claire Danes. The score is composed by Mark Isham.

On The Fourth Thursday In November, 84 Million American Families Will Gather Together … And Wonder Why.  Claudia Larson is heading home for yet another chaotic and exasperating family Thanksgiving. But a new visitor offers some interesting possibilities. If they can duck the flying turkeys, this romance may just have a chance.

Claudia Larson (Holly Hunter) gets fired from her job, then her daughter bails on her at Thanksgiving so she decides to head back home alone to spend it with her highly dysfunctional family. So what could go wrong? Once she arrives she’s quickly reminded why she stays away in the first place. Her family is made up of oddball characters that span from her opinionated old school parents to her charismatic gay brother Tommy (Robert Downey Jr.) who is the rebellious black sheep of the bunch. It’s not all bad for Claudia because sparks fly when she meets her brother’s friend Leo Fish (Dylan McDermott) but unfortunately it’s not the right time or place for a new romance to begin. Thankfully, the holidays are temporary and Claudia ends up making her way back home where she crosses paths with Leo once again and this time it all feels right.

Okay, there’s a lot to like about this dysfunctional holiday dramedy that’s all about this flawed family that loves each other but they just can’t find a way to get along for long periods of time. The story was interesting and all of these characters were fun to follow. As great of a cast as Home for the Holidays has, the spotlight stays on Holly Hunter and Robert Downey, Jr. who both shine in this silly family setting. Their two characters are like yin and yang but they’re also the closest. Like any other family, this one has its emotional highs and lows as they all try to survive this awkward Thanksgiving together. This was only Jodie Foster’s second time to direct a feature film and I thought she did a really good job.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve also features a promotional image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc features its own individual artwork and the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Home for the Holidays was another first time watch for me and it’s a movie that so many families will be able to relate to. The movie is definitely a character study that centers around this quirky dysfunctional family that loves each other but they just can’t seem to get along and this latest holiday gathering serves as a reminder to them why. This was only the second movie that Jodie Foster directed and it was wasn’t well received when it first released but times are changing and this one is due for a second chance and deservingly so. The movie kind of plays like an old Woody Allen comedy that’s heavy in humorous dialogue. This 1995 quirky family dramedy makes its Blu-ray debut under Shout! Factory’s new Shout Select line on October 3rd and is worth checking out, especially if you’ve never seen it before. This will make a really good appetizer that’ll get you ready for the upcoming holiday season.

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Run Time: 103 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Jodi Foster
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:06)
  • Gallery (07:18)



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