As a critique of the British class system, Gosford Park will raise your hackles with its slew of prissy, pompous characters and the sycophantic formalities that flatter them. Altman's homage to the murder mystery genre, however, puts considerable effort into building toward a bland and dissatisfying conclusion. Similarly, the formidable ensemble cast fails to deliver a truly memorable performance because the characters lack range and depth. What results is a watchable but flat period drama.
There will be moments of resonance here for anyone who has considered their life and its trajectory, yet this pathos is hampered by Frank (DiCaprio) and April's (Winslet) distinct lack of hardship. Within minutes of the film starting, it is made clear to us that they have adopted the very prissy bourgeois existence they detest, but we only know this because April tells us; if we had actually seen the couple fall into the trap of responsibilities and the daily…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The first thing that must be said about Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is that it is a step in the right direction for Martin McDonagh. Everyone loved In Bruges, it was a perfect blend of the dark and the humorous, and it had a lot of heart, too. However, that pathos was lost in his sophomore feature Seven Psychopaths, which favoured cineliterate metafiction and frivolous pop-culture gags.
A cursory read of the synopsis will tell you that Three Billboards…
Blurred Lines shows how the contemporary gallery system is a cynical industry with little creative merit that caters for posturing, vacuous idiots with a narcissistic compulsion to feel cultured and important. Indeed, it is this vain urge that serves as the lifeblood of this racket, and the 'art consultants', armed with their finely tuned affectations, mould this urge with maddeningly obscurist spiels that are just beyond parody. The rank pseudo-intellectualism that these people spew and the poseurs who feign understanding…