Blu-ray, DVD Release: Defending Your Life

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: March 30, 2021
Price: DVD $22.99, Blu-ray $27.99
Studio: Criterion

Is there love after death? Acerbic everyman Albert Brooks (Lost in America) finds a perfect balance between satirical bite and romantic-comedy charm as the writer, director, and star of the wonderfully warm and imaginative 1991 existential fantasy Defending Your Life.

After he dies suddenly, the hapless advertising executive Daniel Miller (Brooks) finds himself in Judgment City, a gleaming way station where the newly deceased must prove they lived a life of sufficient courage to advance in their journey through the universe. As the self-doubting Daniel struggles to make his case, a budding relationship with the uninhibited Julia (up-and-comer Meryl Streep) offers him a chance to finally feel alive. Buoyed by a brilliant supporting cast that includes Rip Torn (The Larry Sanders Show), Lee Grant (Shampoo) and Buck Henry (The Graduate), Defending Your Life is a rare feat of personal, philosophical filmmaking that happens to also be divinely entertaining.

• New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Albert Brooks, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New conversation between Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide
• New interview on the afterlife with theologian and critic Donna Bowman
• New program featuring excerpts from 1991 interviews with Brooks and actors Lee Grant and Rip Torn
• Trailer
• English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• PLUS: An essay by filmmaker Ari Aster
Buy or Rent Defending Your Life

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.