Movie Renter's Guide - September, 2009


"The Edge of Love" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle


This is a rather unusual love story woven around famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Rhys), his wife Caitlin (Miller) and his childhood sweetheart Vera (Knightley).  The two women are his inspiration and the three of them live as though each moment will be their last.  Vera suddenly falls in love with a young soldier, William (Murphy) and when he is posted to the front, they are quickly married.  While he is away, Dylan, Caitlin and Vera move in together in a beach house in Wales.  All is carefree until William returns quite altered by his wartime experiences.  Jealousy soon erupts and William in a drunken state one night nearly kills Thomas and Caitlin.  The event forces all involved to take a hard look at themselves and their lives.



  • Capitol Films/Image Entertainment
  • 2008, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 51 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Kiera Knightly, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys
  • Directed by John Maybury
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Yes


The Edge of Love is less a story and more a character study.  It is a look at how people might behave with the knowledge that they might not live to see the next morning and war and death are around them constantly.  Thomas is fantastically self-absorbed and seeks nothing beyond his own amusement and the pursuit of his writing.  Vera walks a fine line between her friendship with Caitlin and her love for Dylan.  Caitlin also walks a fine line as she is quite possessive of Thomas yet devoted to Vera.  William is the catalyst for everything when his harsh experiences with reality bring everyone’s lives into focus.

The film is beautifully acted by all and finely crafted by director John Maybury.  There is some very unique cinematography and the use of dialog pans and other sound effects is something I have not experienced before.  The use of color is also quite interesting.  It is mostly stylized but there are occasional uses of saturated and almost dream-like colors.  Though I usually prefer a more natural palette, this presentation was done extremely well.


Image quality is at reference levels with deep and uniform black levels and just the right amount of contrast.  The color is highly stylized with some scenes rendered in near mono-tones.  The picture never flattens however.  Many period films look as though they are shot through filters which can dull the image.  This is not the case here.  I have rarely seen a better use of interpreted color.

The soundtrack is also of reference quality with clear dialog properly placed within the soundstage.  Music is balanced perfectly with a nice mix of orchestral and period nightclub tunes.  The occasional battle scenes and bomb explosions make excellent use of deep frequencies played through the sub-woofer channel.  Panning effects are used uniquely whenever Thomas reads his poetry over a scene.


Bonus features include commentary with director John Mayberry and actor Matthew Rhys, the featurette “Looking Over The Edge of Love,” a blooper reel and the theatrical trailer.