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Blu-ray review: 'Cinema Verite'
For her part, Pat has a vague notion that having cameras there will keep her hardworking but philandering husband, Bill (Tim Robbins), home with her and their four younger teenagers. Their oldest son, Lance (Thomas Dekker), who became known as the first openly gay person prominently depicted on TV, has already left home, and Pat is keenly aware that the rest of her brood soon will follow suit. The troubled couple and their children are blithely unaware of the potential consequences of letting the cameras chronicle their personal lives; after all, they are forging virgin territory.
Newlywed future Oscar-winning documentarians Alan and Susan Raymond (Patrick Fugit and Shanna Collins) often clash with Gilbert as they spend months shooting and bonding with the family, and in many cases the Louds actually forget they are there. But in some instances, most notably when Pat decides to tell Bill she wants a divorce, they are all too aware of the cameras and try to use them for their own purposes.
The co-directors opt to splice in real footage from the documentary as well as the media blitz the Louds launched once they are vilified by the public and critics. The telefilm recreates the period with stunning authenticity.
Bonus features: Audio commentary and a making-of featurette.
— Brandy McDonnell