Blu-ray fans will be happy to learn the Peter Sellers classic and exquisite comedy Being There is now available on Blu-ray. Though Being There really is a great movie and a great comedy (some people believe it is a societal drama), I am not convinced the usual Blu-ray 1080p high definition picture and Dolby –Stereo only—sound and a couple of minor extra features are enough to warrant getting Being There again if you do not already have it.
Then again, there is so much to Being There it has become one of those movies its fans watch over and over again to figure out the many different ways to read it. Saying Being There is metaphorical is like saying Britney Spears has problems.
Being There is the story of Chance the gardener aka Chauncey Gardiner. Chance has lived with the “old man” all his life and tended his garden. When the old man dies, Chance is booted out of the house. He accidentally finds refuge with a very rich and ill business man (Academy Award winner Melvyn Douglas) and his wife, the excellent Shirley MacLaine.
Chance is a simple man who watches more TV than a latchkey kid. For some odd reason, people misinterpret his gardening advice and answers, and attach much more value to them than there is, or do they? Chauncey Gardiner becomes a very popular pundit.
In comedy, timing is everything. The timing in Being There is absolutely perfect but extremely subtle. An example of that is when Louise says “All you need to be in America is a white man.” right before the TV audience applauds. There are many, many more such moments here.
Hindsight is 20/20 but Dustin Hoffman winning the Best Actor Oscar for the dreadful Kramer vs. Kramer over Peter Sellers makes you wonder.
Being There Blu-ray ads a featurette “Memories from Being There” and two recently discovered deleted scenes to the special features already available on DVD: the trailer, gag reel, and alternate ending.