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Nurse Betty (2000)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Neil LaBute, and actors Renée Zellweger, Morgan Freeman, Chris Rock, and Greg Kinnear Rating:8.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by iwantmytvm on February 9th, 2021:Find all reviews by iwantmytvm
This track was more informative than expected but still the lesser track in regard to useful filmmaking insights, but not by much. LaBute leads this discussion but the others do participate in a nice balance. The presence of Chris Rock on the track is curious. Sometimes they interact with him, other times talk about him in the third person and he does not respond. In any case, he has the least to say in a conversational track. The discussion addresses sets, filming locations, and casting - some of the supporting roles had an interesting casting backstory. The principal players reveal their thoughts for the motivations of their characters, and their feelings on the balance of improvisation vs. adhering to the script. They recall the experience at Cannes and a screening mishap that had to be corrected on the fly. They reflect on some criticism of violence in the film, contending that it was audience perception, as it mostly happens on screen.
Commentary 2: Director Neil LaBute, composer Rolfe Kent, producers Gail Mutrux and Steve Golan, costume designer Lynette Meyer, and director of photography Jean Yves-Escoffier. Rating: no votes yetLogin to vote or review
Reviewed by iwantmytvm on February 9th, 2021:Find all reviews by iwantmytvm
This track was recorded after the first, as LaBute mentions, and there is a little bit of overlap and repetition but not much. It is the stronger track featuring more technical details. They talk more about the choices involved in the creation of the film, the color schemes at play in costumes, lightings and locations. They remark on the Wizard of Oz hommages throughout the film. They had to overcome some scheduling challenges to accommodate all of the main players, and some on set illnesses. Crispin Glover injured his hand and after initially deciding to incorporate it into the story, they realized they could film around it. Working with a score, stunts and computer effects were a first for LaBute but he adapted.

They highlight which scenes they felt would be key to success and audience appreciation of the film. Rather than going for cheap laughs, they strived to have laughs be earned. There is a brief acknowledgment of the screen kiss history of Morgan Freeman. They note the value of the editorial process and point out some lingering continuity gaffes. They share how the film had a slow and challenging journey to release, that was complicated by film rights being sold and transferred between studios, with the new ownership perplexed at how to market and distribute the film. A praised screening at Cannes certainly helped gain the confidence of the studio for a wider release.