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Gosford Park

Director:  Robert Altman
Year Released:  2001
Rating:  2.0

More of a directorial feat than a really good movie - Altman's not at all interested in the dramatic implications of the material, but treats the mansion holding some 30 plus guests as some sort of prissy purgatory, with everyone sitting around, gossiping or harboring some evil secret, waiting for something to happen. Each shot contains no less than nine people, all in flux, and the performances - considering there are so many of them - are all very good (it doesn't hurt that most of the participants are the greatest British actors/actresses alive). But with such a large cast comes the immediate problem of who to identify with - simply being a fly on the wall is not enough for this viewer - and because of the depersonalized treatment, a feeling of indifference settles in. After all, if the director doesn't care about any individual player, and the audience isn't supposed to care about the solution to the 'quick, let's turn this into Clue' murder investigation, what else is there? Oh yes, a really neat house, and a whole lot of master shots.

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