The Draughtsman's Contract Reviews
Surely one of the strangest films in my collection, TDC requires a lot of attention. You need your eyes and ears open and your wits about you in every sense of the word, because a sense of humor is critical here. The characters are unlikeable, but compelling, the action artificial and the storyline murky. The clues you need to solve the mystery of what has happened to Mr. Herbert, and who is responsible are there, but you have to work with them. Nothing is obvious here.
The performances are wonderful, cool and formal as the drawings around which the story revolves. The scenes are set pieces, remarkably lit and costumed to give a very visceral sense of time and place. Greenaway's background in art comes through very strongly here as it does in "Pillow Book" (another of my favorites) giving the film a lot of depth and beauty.