This scene is not taken from the new Barry Lyndon Bluray; it looks considerably better than this. And five or six interior candlelit scenes have values that haven’t been seen since Stanley Kubrick‘s classic opened theatrically some 36 years ago. And for the first time in my life I’ve realized that the man walking outdoors with Barry’s mother near the beginning isn’t Ryan O’Neal, but an actor playing a suitor. The Bluray finally allowed me to see his features that clearly.
But it’s wrong, wrong, terribly wrong to present this film at 1.78 to 1. If I had my way there would be a formal inquest at which Leon Vitali and “the Kubrick estate” would submit to questions under oath from a prosecutor, and they would be asked how, exactly, it could have possibly been Kubrick’s intention that Barry Lyndon be shown at this aspect ratio (or at 1.77) when it didn’t exist in 1975, and in fact didn’t come into being until high-def TV screens became popular in the early aughts. Some day this wrong will be righted.