Monday, August 05, 2002

This weekend we rented two films: Gosford Park and The Royal Tennenbaums.

Gosford Park was a magnificently produced "whodunit" that delved into the formalities of the early 20th Century British upper class and their dealings with those who served them. While this film is rather short on plot (Jason complained "nothing happened" in the movie), the depth of character development, the social commentary, and the visual appeal are hard to deny. I enjoyed so many of the little nuances: those in service were called by the name of their employer when "belowstairs," the coffee incident, the service staff eating together and sitting in the position of their employer before the main dinner. All of these touches provided a glimpse into the past and enriched the running comparison and contrast between the rich and the servant. I thought this movie was great - one of the best I've seen in a long time; Jason hated it. Your mileage may vary.

I'm not certain I can say anything better about The Royal Tennenbaums than Duane did. I think I enjoyed it, but haven't really decided yet. The seemingly calm demeanor of the actors throughout the film was unnerving. The interactions of the family and their almost-family were, well, strange. Some of the characters seemed to be changing by the end - their physical, outward appearance changed as well. It is certainly worth renting if you haven't seen it yet.

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