While this reviewer didn't like Rob Marshall's "CHICAGO," all of the acclaim he got for that one is deserved for "MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA." Based on the famous novel from Arthur Golden, at one time, Spielberg wanted to direct it. While that version could have possibly allowed for a deeper narrative structure, what's been achieved here is still worthwhile and extremely entertaining. The story follows the life and struggles of Chiyo, who as a young girl is sold by her father into a life of drudgery at a Geisha house. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, she's mentored into the fine art of this life and is sought after by many. There are lots of heartbreaking moments, as well as breathtaking ones. Ultimately, the film succeeds as a great drama, while not quite as much as the love story it aspires to be in its subtext. Part of this problem lies in the fact that the "true" love of Chiyo's dreams comes across slightly as a pedophile when first meeting her at a young age early in the film, and he's no youngster!
SONY has provided a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer with the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It's a nearly flawless transfer! The elaborate production design is perfectly rendered with lush, vibrant colors in virtually every scene! While there are many scenes with stunning depth, and nearly three-dimensional depth, darker scenes come across rather flat.
SONY has provided a PCM 5.1 mix. This is a deeply layered mix. While not "aggressive," there are consistently stunning discrete and panning effects that create one stirring sequence after another. The music is unforgettable and well complimented through all speakers. Dialogue is always intelligible and perfectly balanced.
SONY has carried over the extras from the dvd. There are plenty of featurettes and two commentaries.