22 May 2024
BFI Set to release Beautiful Thing in UK on Blu-ray

BFI Giving Hettie Macdonald’s Beautiful Thing Blu-ray Release

BFI Set to release Beautiful Thing in UK on Blu-ray
The BFI are set to give Hettie Macdonald‘s 1996 directorial feature length debut Beautiful Thing, it’s debut UK Blu-ray release in March.

The film is based on the award-winning play by Jonathan Harvey, first performed at the Bush Theatre. Beautiful Thing is considered a classic romantic comedy, that is essentially coming of age and coming out film.

Funded by Channel 4 Films, it was produced by the legendary Tony Garnett, who thought the play would make a better film. Hettie Macdonald at the time was a Stage director and she wouldn’t go back to the big screen until 2023 with (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry).

This feel-good 90s favourite, its uplifting soundtrack featuring songs by Cass Elliot and The Mamas and The Papas. The film has several special features including a commentary by the director and writer and a filmed Q&A.

During a long hot summer in south London, Jamie (Glen Berry) is bunking off school more than usual, scurrying back to the TV and the flat on the Thamesmead estate where he lives with his mother Sandra (Linda Henry). Meanwhile his neighbour Leah (Tameka Empson), who’s been kicked out of school, spends her days listening to Mama Cass records. In the same block is Jamie’s sporty classmate Ste (Scott Neal), whose home life is punctuated by the regular beatings he receives from both his father and brother. One night, in a bid to escape the violence, Ste takes refuge in Sandra’s flat and sleeps head to toe with Jamie. As Sandra struggles with a job promotion and her relationship with her hippy boyfriend Tony, Jamie and Ste gradually discover their affection for each other.

BFI Set to release Beautiful Thing this is Blu-ray Special features

  • Presented in High Definition
  • Newly recorded audio commentary with director Hettie Macdonald, writer Jonathan Harvey and assistant director Susie Liggat
  • Beautiful Thing Q&A (2023, 32 mins): a post-screening discussion with Jonathan Harvey, Hettie Macdonald, Susie Liggat and cast member Glen Berry
  • Living at Thamesmead (1974, 25 mins): a short film showing the architecture and landscaping of Thamesmead, and everyday lives of the residents
  • Crashing Waves (2018, 4 mins): a short film set against the backdrop of a high-rise housing estate where two young men connect
  • Beautiful Thing rainbow plaque unveiling (2023, 1 min)
  • Theatrical trailer
  • ***First pressing only*** Illustrated booklet with essays by Simon McCallum, David Robson, Áine Grace, Vic Pratt and Emily Maskell; notes on the special features and credits

UK / 1996 / colour / 91 minutes / English language with optional descriptive subtitles / aspect ratio 1.78:1 // BD50: 1080p, 23.98fps, LPCM 2.0 stereo audio (48kHz/24-bit).

Beautiful Thing will be released in the UK and Ireland on BFI Blu-ray, iTunes and Amazon Prime from 18th March.

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