A not-so-classic who-cares-whodunit murder mystery. Hommage to Renoir's "Regle de Jeu" and British detective fiction, with a strong auteur's touch, dismantling the genre once again. While focus is on characters, and how cast lives up with them, the story levitates impressed by its setting, and all the engaging social commentary of Altman's trademark collages (MASH, Nashville, Short Cuts) doesn't seem to reappear.
Beautifully written, witty, great dialogue and a great ensemble makes this a wonderful who-dunnit blended with a upstairs/downstairs ensemble of characters. Any other movie would praise the fates and luck for having only one of these actors and actresses in their film, but since it's Robert Altman he could almost pick whoever he wanted making this a one-of-a-kind fantastic ensemble movie.
Altman's film is a fascinating potrayal of two corresponding social worlds - the servants' world "below" and its aristrocratic mirror "above stairs" - and their complex interrelations through rumours, animosities and vanities. Since watching this work in cinema shortly after its release I rewatched it half a dozen times and always discover new details I haven't been aware before. And the actors are actually amazing.
Il perfetto antenato di Downton Abbey (persino un paio di attori in comune), comicità inglese e interpreti d'eccezione per un giallo che non annoia nemmeno un secondo, nonostante duri oltre due ore. Un po' insapore il personaggio della figlia stralunata e poco sfruttata la differenza tra americani e inglesi che poteva regalare qualche altro momento di umorismo. Nel complesso un film da guardare ed apprezzare.
Grand film. Plongée dans l'univers de la bourgeoisie anglaise lors d'une parti de chasse. C'est un film avant tout très efficace tant au niveau des dialogues que des images : on passe de l'univers des domestiques, à celui des maîtres avec beaucoup de dextérité. Nombreux souvenirs cinématographiques et littéraires entre Agatha Christie ou La règle du jeu de Renoir.
I wasn't a big fan when it came out. I balked at what I then remember calling its "pop psychologizing." Gee whiz. If anything has ever been a pretext, then the murder mystery and attendant suppressed pathologies here are absolutely pretexts. Pretexts to exult in the potentiality of the cinematographic apparatus and a handful of genius actors. Why doesn't Geraldine Somerville get more and better work? Love her.
This is about the lifestyle of the british aristocracy, people with a lot of money; but with bad, beastly manners. Or, about bondmaids & bondmen treated as slaves in 'modern times'. The movie perfectly captures these relations & dependencies. Hunting, partying, amusement, dinner set-ups, clothing. Athmospherically nicely done. Only as a subsidiary matter the issue of sexual abuse comes up. But it's all about abuse.
In which Altman has the chutzpah to invite comparisons to Renoir and actually comes out looking pretty good. This is his last great film, a wonderfully orchestrated mass of humanity where the heart and soul of the film—Kelly MacDonald—also becomes the ideal detective because she's the only one who really absorbs what she's witnessing. Fun in-joke: the way American filmmakers are shown as interlopers.
First 1/2 hour I was really disliking this film. Then after the first night fell, I started to warm to it. The gossiping, fucking each other (literally & figuratively, & cattiness became a great deal of fun. It's like ultra posh Jerry Springer. Too many amazing performances to name, the script sometimes tries to be too on the nose at times. The murder is a red herring folks