‘The Art of Getting By’ Blu-ray Review
20th Century Fox has released another 2011 Sundance movie, The Art of Getting By, on Blu-ray. The Art of Getting By stars Freddie Highmore as George, a disillusioned high school senior who lives with the belief that if everyone dies alone, why bother looking for someone along the way. Things change, of course, when he happens to notice Sally (Emma Roberts), another disillusioned, but more social, high school senior. The Art of Getting By also has cameo roles by Blair Underwood, Rita Wilson, and Alicia Silverstone.
I thought, by its title, that The Art of Getting By would actually be about how the characters were getting by, employing some unique perspective or techniques. Instead it was more like what happens when someone is just getting by and then something, young love, sparks them into caring. This could probably be the story of any emo high school senior who accidentally falls in love. There are no twists and no real movement. The movie plays so slowly and methodically the entire time, that when George starts taking action, the viewer is left to wonder why? Nothing significant caused it. There were many elements that were compelling, George’s severely intense art teacher, George’s art “mentor” who could barely live up to the term, and the quietly disturbing relationship between George’s mother and his stepfather. Aside from that, however, I felt the movie was quite cliched.
For me, the saving grace to this movie was Freddie Highmore. He was cute to look at and was able to portray a mixture of aloofness and eagerness. Also, Emma Roberts was a good pairing, offering a lightness to Sally that was a good balance to the darkness we were to believe was in George. Although I enjoyed both performances, I still did not truly enjoy the movie. It is not one that I would watch again.
Now for the tech specs – The Art of Getting By is presented on Blu-ray featuring AVC @ 23 MBPS, 25GB Single Layer, Widescreen 2.40:1, and English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Descriptive Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track.
In addition to the movie, the Blu-ray features the following extras:
Audio Commentary with Director Gavin Weisen
New York Slice of Life – The director talks about New York and its effect on him. He briefly discusses what parts of New York he wanted to highlight in the movie. It is about 2 minutes long.
On Young Love – Freddie Highmore, whom I was surprised to learn is British and which endeared me even more to him, and the Director talk about how young love affects George in the movie. Emma Roberts also talks about how odd the realtionship between George and Sally is. It is just over 2 minutes long.
Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character with Freddie Highmore – Freddie Highmore discusses his character and playing George. Just over 4 minutes long.
HBO First Look – The Making of The Art of Getting By – This is an extra long feature, clocking in at just over 12 minutes. It discusses the making of the movie. Many of the discussions, however, were previously covered in other bonus features and become repetitive.