The Draughtsman's Contract (1982)
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Critic Reviews for The Draughtsman's Contract
Artificial in the extreme, it may nevertheless be Greenaway's most naturalistic and easygoing film.
It shows the director at his best and most playful, and it's a strange delight.
One of the best, most original and diabolical films to come out of England.
Audience Reviews for The Draughtsman's Contract
The Draughtsman's Contract has everybody clever in an odd way. I cannot make out what it is about. This is neither irritating enough to make me dislike the film nor intriguing enough to stimulate a rewatch. Would recommend only to those who enjoy the exercise of interpretation; it is not really comical or sexy enough for a casual view.
There are a lot of good things I can say about this film. The costumes and setting are gorgeous, and all of the performances are great - most of all Anthony Higgins, who is not only masterful in his role but wears Restoration costume as if he'd been born to do so. However, despite enjoying the first two thirds of the film I can't say I was especially enamoured of the ending section, possibly because much of it went over my head. Maybe I'll watch it again sometime and see if I understand it better.
Seductive cinematic puzzle, visually rich with deception, both of fact and motive, permeating the texture. Performances are uniformly excellent, while the historical setting is amongst the most vivid committed to film. Michael Nyman's beautifully crafted score contributes greatly.
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