Customer Review

21 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars House full of virtually indistinguishable generic buffoons, March 25, 2002
Seems that every year about one token dud gets a Best Picture nomination for whatever reason. And this year's entry of that sort is Gosford Park. One might be encouraged in the first 15 minutes or so, first because one thinks surely a Best Picture nominee has something substantial to offer, and second because the setup can at first look promising. It's a comedy of British manners, set in the 1930s. It can seem at first to be sort of a twentieth century Jane Austen. But it quickly becomes clear that any 30 minutes of this is a pale imitation of Jane Austen at best. She knew how to inject genuine heroes and heroines and interesting antagonists into an otherwise farce-prone setting; the creators of this did not. Gosford Park has been said to be about class distinctions, but actually practically every character in it, regardless of class, seems to be virtually the same half-baked buffoon on steroids. Then, about midway through, this only sporadically funny satire suddenly turns into a murder mystery. But by then the characters are running together to an extent that makes it hard to care who killed whom among them. And finally, by the ending, with a confusing at best resolution of the mystery, it's almost impossible to care. It's one of those endings whose best attribute is that it IS an ending. One can finally give a sigh of relief that it's over.
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Location: Matthews, NC

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