Posted on 3/27/11 09:22 AM
Ha! Robert Altman a "second rate" director?! There's a reason this extraordinary cast - the creme of England's acting community - Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Derek Jacobi, Alan Bates, Jeremy Northam, Stephen Fry, Charles Dance, Kristin Scott Thomas, Richard E. Grant etc. etc. signed on for bit parts in this movie, & I can assure you it wasn't for the money!
It is NOT a riveting "whodunit", it IS a "an intensely fascinating study of class & wealth". As in most of his films, Altman maintains a distance from his characters - we are not allowed to identify too closely with any of them. As a result, the film lacks the emotional punch of a film like the "The Remains of the Day". In it's own terms, however, while not one of Altman's best, it is a beautifully crafted & interesting movie