Sunday, October 21, 2007

What's Up with Robert Altman

Yeah, I know he's dead, but Ron and I just got around to seeing Gosford Park. Ron thinks it's a yawner, but I liked its humor, and the carefully drawn life of the servants. Class may have its privileges, but their life is arid, rude, and cold. It's about being born into something rotten, tottering, and malignant.

Most of the Altman films I've seen are formless, plotless, and long. His characters are difficult to care about. His storylines are opaque.

Gosford Park is no exception, but I enjoyed it anyway. Although I couldn't understand the dialogue (British accents, anyone), I loved the bleak snobby privilege upstairs, and its effect downstairs. This film is about class warfare thinly disguised as a (very long) mystery. The murder doesn't happen until 90 minutes into the film, so just be patient.

Finally, if you have problems following the film, Wikipedia has a great plot exegesis that sorts everything out. Of course, I couldn't sort out the plot summary. See the film, but don't blame me if you don't like it.