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"Gosford Park"

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  • b_ergang <bergang@op.net>
    If you haven t already wasted your time on Robert Altman s film Gosford Park, allow me to warn you against the agony thereof. Despite a cast which includes
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 31, 2003
      If you haven't already wasted your time on Robert Altman's
      film "Gosford Park," allow me to warn you against the agony thereof.

      Despite a cast which includes such luminaries as Alan Bates, Maggie
      Smith, Derek Jacobi, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Stephen Fry, Emily
      Watson, Michael Gambon, and Richard E. Grant; despite the film's
      billing as Altman's take on the 1930s British country house mystery;
      and despite apparently glowing reviews, this film is a long,
      sprawling bore.

      Altman hasn't made a really good movie since "M*A*S*H," but he's
      made a lot of turkeys. "Gosford Park" gobbles along pretentiously
      with the worst of them.

      The film is flawed by a complete lack of focus. The cast is huge,
      consisting not only of the guests at the country house for the
      weekend, but their personal servants and the servants who maintain
      the household. The story jumps from one character to another so that
      there's nobody to empathize with. You simply don't care what happens
      to any of them because none are really developed in depth.

      Moreover, the soundtrack is annoying because in crowd scenes, of
      which there are many, you can't always discern what people are
      saying--those whose dialogue you're *meant* to hear--because
      everyone else is talking too loudly in the background. Some of the
      actors' accents are thick and heavy, which adds to the difficulty of
      understanding them amid the buzz of the throng, and sometimes they
      murmur and mutter lines the audience is evidently supposed to hear.

      Is it supposed to be a "drama-dy" of manners? A sociological study
      of the aristocracy and the servant class? A psychological study of
      same? A detective story? The film fails on all counts because of its
      diffuseness.

      The detective story element is as lame as it gets. The victim is
      supposed to be a thoroughgoing blackguard, but that aspect of his
      character never really comes through so you don't care that he's
      murdered. Once the murder occurs, which is nearly two-thirds of the
      way through this placental disaster, you don't care who committed
      it. But, adding an unnecessarily incongruous quality to the tone
      established to this point, in comes Stephen Fry as the Inspector
      assigned to the case. His ineptitude, meant to be comic, is just
      fatuous. His assistant, a constable, is much savvier at
      investigative techniques--he has to caution the Inspector against
      touching items that haven't been dusted for fingerprints.

      The police don't solve the mystery; a servant does. It's not a fair-
      play solution, and it's not startling. It doesn't result in a chase,
      a fight, a shootout, or an arrest. It's just another yawn in one big
      yawn of a movie.
    • Douglas Greene
      Oh my goodness! I loved Gosford Park! Doug Douglas G. Greene Professor of History Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA 23529-0091 Phone 757 683-3949
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 4, 2003
        Oh my goodness! I loved Gosford Park!

        Doug

        Douglas G. Greene
        Professor of History
        Old Dominion University
        Norfolk, VA 23529-0091
        Phone 757 683-3949
      • Suzanne Kingsley
        I saw it twice and will probably tape it when it comes out on TV. I thought it was a bit slow at first, but I loved all the actors that were in it. I
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 4, 2003
          I saw it twice and will probably tape it when it comes out on TV. I thought
          it was a bit slow at first, but I loved all the actors that were in it. I
          wanted to see it a second time to understand some of the dialogue that I
          missed the first time. The accents were a bit thick sometimes. I also
          didn't understand what was happening all the time between the relationship
          of the upstairs people and the downstairs people. The second time around I
          got it.

          One of the reasons that I read GA mysteries is for the explanation and vivid
          description of how life was in the English Country House set at the time
          between the wars. Movies like Gosford Park are a great treat to me. I wish
          there were more.

          Suzanne

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Douglas Greene" <dgreene@...>
          To: <GAdetection@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 9:24 AM
          Subject: Re: [GAdetection] "Gosford Park"


          >
          > Oh my goodness! I loved Gosford Park!
          >
          > Doug
          >
          > Douglas G. Greene
          > Professor of History
          > Old Dominion University
          > Norfolk, VA 23529-0091
          > Phone 757 683-3949
          >
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > GAdetection-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
        • b_ergang <bergang@op.net>
          When I posted my initial criticism of it, I imagined I d be in the minority here. :-) ... I thought ... in it. I ... that I ... also ... relationship ...
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 4, 2003
            When I posted my initial criticism of it, I imagined I'd be in the
            minority here. :-)


            --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "Suzanne Kingsley"
            <skingsley@s...> wrote:
            > I saw it twice and will probably tape it when it comes out on TV.
            I thought
            > it was a bit slow at first, but I loved all the actors that were
            in it. I
            > wanted to see it a second time to understand some of the dialogue
            that I
            > missed the first time. The accents were a bit thick sometimes. I
            also
            > didn't understand what was happening all the time between the
            relationship
            > of the upstairs people and the downstairs people. The second time
            around I
            > got it.
            >
            > One of the reasons that I read GA mysteries is for the explanation
            and vivid
            > description of how life was in the English Country House set at
            the time
            > between the wars. Movies like Gosford Park are a great treat to
            me. I wish
            > there were more.
            >
            > Suzanne
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: "Douglas Greene" <dgreene@o...>
            > To: <GAdetection@yahoogroups.com>
            > Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 9:24 AM
            > Subject: Re: [GAdetection] "Gosford Park"
            >
            >
            > >
            > > Oh my goodness! I loved Gosford Park!
            > >
            > > Doug
            > >
            > > Douglas G. Greene
            > > Professor of History
            > > Old Dominion University
            > > Norfolk, VA 23529-0091
            > > Phone 757 683-3949
            > >
            > >
            > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > > GAdetection-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
            http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            > >
            > >
          • William F. Deeck
            It is worth watching on DVD (and possibly VHS), which has English captioning. Reading the dialogue helps, particularly for someone like me who thinks he is
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 4, 2003
              It is worth watching on DVD (and possibly VHS), which has English
              captioning. Reading the dialogue helps, particularly for someone like me who
              thinks he is beginning to develop hearing loss, though it does take away
              from viewing the scenes properly. I also had to use the captioning in "Lock,
              Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," which as far as I could tell paid no
              obeisance to the Golden Age.


              -----Original Message-----
              From: Suzanne Kingsley [mailto:skingsley@...]
              Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 11:18 AM
              To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [GAdetection] "Gosford Park"


              I saw it twice and will probably tape it when it comes out on TV. I thought
              it was a bit slow at first, but I loved all the actors that were in it. I
              wanted to see it a second time to understand some of the dialogue that I
              missed the first time. The accents were a bit thick sometimes. I also
              didn't understand what was happening all the time between the relationship
              of the upstairs people and the downstairs people. The second time around I
              got it.

              One of the reasons that I read GA mysteries is for the explanation and vivid
              description of how life was in the English Country House set at the time
              between the wars. Movies like Gosford Park are a great treat to me. I wish
              there were more.

              Suzanne
            • b_ergang <bergang@op.net>
              Well, don t go by me. :-) I also despise The Wizard of Oz, and think Gone With the Wind is one of the worst pieces of drivel ever foisted off on a
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 4, 2003
                Well, don't go by me. :-) I also despise "The Wizard of Oz," and
                think "Gone With the Wind" is one of the worst pieces of drivel ever
                foisted off on a gullible public. (General Sherman's army didn't
                destroy Atlanta; the scene-chewing cast reduced it to crumbs.)

                --- In GAdetection@yahoogroups.com, "Douglas Greene" <dgreene@o...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Oh my goodness! I loved Gosford Park!
                >
                > Doug
                >
                > Douglas G. Greene
                > Professor of History
                > Old Dominion University
                > Norfolk, VA 23529-0091
                > Phone 757 683-3949
              • RICHARD LIEDHOLM
                I, too, loved the setting and actors of Gosford Park. However, I found it a bit disappointing too. If Altman REALLY wanted to film a English House murder
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 4, 2003
                  I, too, loved the setting and actors of Gosford Park. However, I found it a bit disappointing too. If Altman REALLY wanted to film a English House murder mystery (while adding his own unique touch) I think he would have been better served by trying a Nicholas Blake or an early Innes. But he was more interested in the relationships of the upstairs and the downstairs, and that certainly shows in the film. While not a good mystery, it still is a well acted, beautifully produced comedy of manners with a little murder thrown in to spice up the plot.

                  Richard

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Suzanne Kingsley
                  Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 10:16 AM
                  To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [GAdetection] "Gosford Park"

                  I saw it twice and will probably tape it when it comes out on TV. I thought
                  it was a bit slow at first, but I loved all the actors that were in it. I
                  wanted to see it a second time to understand some of the dialogue that I
                  missed the first time. The accents were a bit thick sometimes. I also
                  didn't understand what was happening all the time between the relationship
                  of the upstairs people and the downstairs people. The second time around I
                  got it.

                  One of the reasons that I read GA mysteries is for the explanation and vivid
                  description of how life was in the English Country House set at the time
                  between the wars. Movies like Gosford Park are a great treat to me. I wish
                  there were more.

                  Suzanne

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Douglas Greene" <dgreene@...>
                  To: <GAdetection@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 9:24 AM
                  Subject: Re: [GAdetection] "Gosford Park"


                  >
                  > Oh my goodness! I loved Gosford Park!
                  >
                  > Doug
                  >
                  > Douglas G. Greene
                  > Professor of History
                  > Old Dominion University
                  > Norfolk, VA 23529-0091
                  > Phone 757 683-3949
                  >
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > GAdetection-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >



                  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  GAdetection-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com



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