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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Confirmation

June 5th, 2016

The Confirmation - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray
Video on Demand

The Confirmation

The Confirmation opened in limited release, and Video on Demand in March. Like most films that debut on Video on Demand, this one went nowhere at the box office. Will it do better on DVD / Blu-ray?

The Movie

We first meet Walt as he's trying to get his truck to start. It isn't going well. In the meantime, we meet his ex-wife, Bonnie, and their 8-year old son, Anthony, in church. Bonnie asks Anthony to go to confessional, but despite prodding from the Priest, Anthony can't think of any sins. When Walt arrives to pick up Anthony, Bonnie has some words with him first. She's not happy that he's late and warns him not to drink or he won't be able to see Anthony again.

Before they get home, Walt stops by a pub, saying he has a lead on a job. He's in there long enough for Anthony to get worried and heads into the pub in order to get him. Walt doesn't appear to be drinking and he does ask the people he's talking with to be on the lookout for any job. Walt's a freelance finishing carpenter, and a good one. It does seem this paid off, because shortly after getting home, Walt gets a call offering him a job on Monday. It will require his specialty tools, so he sends Anthony out to the truck to get his tool chest so they can sharpen them, but it's not there. Walt forgot to lock up and someone stole his tools. His first thought is to go to Otto to borrow his tools; however, Otto sold his a decade ago. Otto does offer a lead, an ex-thief who might know who stole them, Guy Bishop. Bishop doesn't know, but he knows someone who might know, Vaughn. Vaughn doesn't know, but he knows someone who might know, Drake.

At this point, it sounds like Walt is getting the run around, but his day is about to get much worse, a lot worse. How gets us into spoiler territory.

The Confirmation is a lot like The Witch. I know those movies sound nothing alike, but hear me out; I've got a sensible point to make. Both films earned amazing reviews, but the audience reactions scores on Rotten Tomatoes are quite weak. I think the reason for this discrepancy is also very similar. Both movies have pacing issues. For nearly an hour, not much happens. It's mostly just a dialogue driven drama with Walt and Anthony talking about various topics, which may or may not engage the average viewer. Also, a lot of the movie is rather depressing. Walt has a really, really bad day and it could be soul-crushing to some. On the other hand, the two actors involved are really great and critics tend to enjoy seeing two actors, in this case a veteran and a newcomer, with such great chemistry. The writing is great and Bob Nelson's transition from screenwriter to director was a smooth one here. Granted, the movie isn't exactly visually stylish, but he did get amazing performances out of all of his cast.

The Extras

There are only two featurettes on the DVD and Blu-ray. The first is an eleven-minute look at the characters and the second is an eight-minute look at the cast. That's not a lot of extras, but it is not that much worse than the average limited release.

The Verdict

The Confirmation has a slow pace and a depressing story for much of its run. However, excellent writing and stellar acting help lift the movie. The extras on the DVD or Blu-ray are not great, but it is still worth picking up.

Filed under: Video Review, The Witch, The Confirmation, Maria Bello, Robert Forster, Tim Blake Nelson, Patton Oswalt, Clive Owen, Stephen Tobolowsky, Bob Nelson, Jaeden Lieberher, Mel Tuck