Blu-ray Review: THE EXCEPTION

THE EXCEPTION is based on the captivating novel “The Kaiser’s Last Kiss” by author Alan Judd. The movie was directed by David Leveaux from a screenplay by Simon Burke and stars Jai Courtney, Christopher Plummer and features a standout performance by Lily James.

A riveting World War II thriller filled with espionage and romance in equal measure, The Exception follows German officer Captain Stefan Brandt (Jai Courtney) as he goes on a mission to investigate exiled German monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer). The Kaiser lives in a secluded mansion in the Netherlands, and as Germany is taking over Holland, the country’s authorities are concerned that Dutch spies may be watching the Kaiser. As Brandt begins to infiltrate the Kaiser’s life in search of clues, he finds himself drawn into an unexpected and passionate romance with Mieke (Lily James), one of the Kaiser’s maids whom Brandt soon discovers is secretly Jewish.

When Captain Stefan Brandt gets assigned to investigate and watch over the Kaiser, he instantly falls for Mieke the first time he sees her. It’s love at first sight for these two but it’s a forbidden love becuase the two of them belong on different sides of the war. Brandt is a loyal soldier to Germany and Mieke is a Jewish spy from Great Brittain who is on a secret mission of her own. The two sneak around knowing how dangerous it is and what the dreaded consequences could be but they take their chances with each other until certain events occur that changes everything. Mieke ultimately reveals her true identity to the Kaiser who this a fondness for and to Brandt whose affection for her outweighs the differences their two wartorn countries have with each other. The couple end up finding a compassionate ally in the Kaiser who aids in Mieke’s escape and covers for Brandt’s misconduct.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front 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 Blu-ray disc has a grey finish and only features 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, The Exception was a really good movie that ended up being one part espionage thriller and one part love story. The story by Simon Burke is a good one and really thought-provoking as are these interesting characters that the movie follows. So many movies like this can be a real slow burn but this one plays out smoothly from beginning to end and never gets boring and that’s all thanks to the characters. Jai Courtney and Lily James gave some powerful performances as the two forbidden lovers who come from different walks of life. There’s also Christopher Plummer whose character is the heart and soul of The Exception and so much fun to watch. Director David Leveaux has delivered a really great movie that any history buff will hopefully enjoy and appreciate as much as I did. The detailed accuracy and authenticity are spot on for this grand piece of work.  The Exception releases on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) on August 8th and is worth checking out.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 107 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.39:1)

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

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette, some audio commentary and a digital copy of the movie.

  • Behind-the-Scenes of The Exception (19:32)
  • Audio Commentary with Director David Leveaux
  • Digital HD Copy



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