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Gosford Park doesn't live up to its cover


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73 replies to this topic

#1 of 74 OFFLINE   Jeffrey G

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Posted June 30 2002 - 01:19 PM

Ebert and "whoever" gives it an "outstanding" or whatever two thumbs up and it won an Academy Award, but my wife and I turned it off after 40 minutes or so. We couldn't understand half of what the characters were saying because of the strong British accent (I guess it was British), and it was very boring from the start. If we didn't give it enough time, I'm sorry, but after 40 minutes I would have thought that an Academy Award winner would have kept our attention.
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#2 of 74 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted June 30 2002 - 01:35 PM

Actually, according to the director, most people won't "get" it with only one viewing. Posted Image

It does get better as it goes along, and stopping forty minutes in means you probably didn't get to Stephen Fry, who is hilariously blustery.
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#3 of 74 OFFLINE   Todd_Brown

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Posted June 30 2002 - 02:19 PM

Quote:
We couldn't understand half of what the characters were saying because of the strong British accent (I guess it was British), and it was very boring from the start.


My wife and I watched it last night and enjoyed it immensely. The way the two worlds were shown different yet parallel was fantastic, and we felt all the characters, for the most part, were interesting and played well. The sets were gorgeous, as were the costumes. The plot was fine, even if it was not the most original. I guess this is an example of "to each, his own". I give it Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image out of 4.
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#4 of 74 OFFLINE   Bruce Hedtke

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Posted June 30 2002 - 03:35 PM

Quote:
We couldn't understand half of what the characters were saying


My guess is that it would be VERY hard for any film to keep your focus if you couldn't follow the dialogue. Being a dialogue driven film, I can understand why it would befuddle you.

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#5 of 74 OFFLINE   Travis D

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Posted June 30 2002 - 04:08 PM

I say turn on subtitles and have another go at it. I turn on subs for just about anything and I hear fine, but There are some times when I miss something if a character is whispering or babbling incoherently.

In fact I rented Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet and Closed Captioning has become my new best friend. This is my first encounter with Shakespeare and I had no idea WHAT THE HELL these people were saying until I read it. Hmmm maybe I should just read the damn thing instead.
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#6 of 74 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted June 30 2002 - 04:53 PM

Quote:
my wife and I turned it off after 40 minutes or so.

You expect to form a coherent opinion of a 137-minute film after watching only 40 minutes? If you're going to watch a film, you may as well actually watch it. All those other people who liked it and gave it awards and stuff? They actually watched the whole thing.

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#7 of 74 OFFLINE   Ben Motley

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Posted June 30 2002 - 05:26 PM

Closed-captioning? English subtitles for the hearing impaired? I too had an extremely difficult time in the theater with this film, as I am partially hearing impaired. I distinctly remember being disappointed that I couldn't follow much, and very quickly resigned myself to waiting for the dvd and watching it again with the subs. I did stick around though, as it is a very beautifully filmed movie. Plus, I wasn't driving. Posted Image

So, the dvd does have english subs, right?

#8 of 74 OFFLINE   Butch C

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Posted July 01 2002 - 12:55 AM

The dialog was tough

#9 of 74 OFFLINE   Danny R

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Posted July 01 2002 - 01:23 AM

We watched it last night on DVD as well. My wife had trouble with the dialog (she has some hearing loss), so we turned on the subtitles. Yes the DVD has them - and for the most part they run under the widescreen film unless there is so much dialog that they are pushed up onto the film itself, so they don't distract that much.

I found the movie to be wonderful. Knowing it was a murder mystery from the start, we started cataloging all the murder tools and suspects as they came apparent. The mystery is certainly easy enough to solve. My wife and I figured it out at about the same pace that Mary did in the film (as none of the clues were hidden).
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#10 of 74 OFFLINE   Iain Lambert

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Posted July 01 2002 - 01:48 AM

Well, I loved it. Admittedly, I understand English accents, but there you go. It seems several Americans on the forum have had a problem with it, so don't feel too bad. Just imagine how much we struggle with some American films.
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#11 of 74 ONLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted July 01 2002 - 01:52 AM

I don't know why people have such trouble with this movie. When I saw it in theaters, it took about five minutes to get accustomed to the accents and rhythm of the conversations. And yes, it's not going to make much sense if you watch less than one-third of the film.

Great film. In my Top 3 for 2001.
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#12 of 74 OFFLINE   Richard Kim

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Posted July 01 2002 - 02:25 AM

I had a little trouble figuring out what the characters were saying, but I got used to it as the film went on. I was really confused about how all the characters were interrelated to each other. The Cast and Crew section did a good job in revealing who was related to who.

I need to see it again to fully understand it, but my first impression is that this was an excellent film.

#13 of 74 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted July 01 2002 - 02:32 AM

It's a film that doesn't take you by the hand and lead you through the story. You have to work at it. This makes it frustrating for some, exhilarating for others. But I can't understand why anyone who's having trouble grasping the accents wouldn't just turn on the subtitles.

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#14 of 74 OFFLINE   Brian J Dupuis

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Posted July 01 2002 - 02:46 AM

My wife and I got through about 90 minutes last night before we had to hit the sack (getting up early in the morning), but we liked it so far. We too had difficulty with the dialogue and went with the subtitles. I personally blame it on my lackluster center-channel which seems to suffer most on dialogue-driven films. Looking forward to finishing this one tonight, if possible.
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#15 of 74 OFFLINE   Richard Kim

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Posted July 01 2002 - 02:55 AM

Quote:
But I can't understand why anyone who's having trouble grasping the accents wouldn't just turn on the subtitles.

Since GP is a scope film, I used my foamboard mattes to cover the black bars. And unfortunately, the subtitles extended below the picture into the black bar. Posted Image

#16 of 74 OFFLINE   mike martin

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Posted July 01 2002 - 03:27 AM

The dialogue -is- difficult; and depending on your comfort level with accents, may be hard to manage for the whole film. However, I think the average viewer will eventually settle into it and start to forget the accents. Most of what's happening is contained in the faces anyway. I was able to forget the accents about 1/2 hour in at the theater; but enjoyed the option for subtitles on the DVD.

Now, all of that being said, Gosford Park, in my humble opinion, deserves every accolade it recieved and much much more. Altman accomplished something that I suspect few if any others could have with this film. The fact that it never falls apart and betrays itself as simply a bunch of actors in costumes is a magical achievment. I love the feeling of wonderful movement, energy, and purpose below stairs and the slow methodical slavery to etiquette above stairs. You are bombarded with diologue at times and could never catch it all (accents asside); but your ears catch this and that and in the end you realize that you have been treated to something far greater than "script". In many ways the plot is about nothing at all. Sure there is a murder mystery; but Altman makes it all very clear that you should not be much concerned about it, certainly no one in the movie is. If the murder means anything at all it is in the motive; and when we learn, it is one of the better emotional beats i've seen in a movie for a small while. This movie ties with Mullholland as my best of 2001.

#17 of 74 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted July 01 2002 - 04:28 AM

Quote:
And unfortunately, the subtitles extended below the picture into the black bar. Posted Image

Why not just remove the mattes?

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#18 of 74 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted July 01 2002 - 04:48 AM

Quote:
We couldn't understand half of what the characters were saying because of the strong British accent (I guess it was British), and it was very boring from the start.


There, there, never mind - there's a whole series of Ernest movies coming out in early September. Perhaps you'll get on better with those.

What the heck is it with Americans and this incapacity to understand British accents? Stories about this occasionally make our newspapers (e.g. Gregory's Girl had to be subtitled for American audiences) to the great amusement of the locals. Brits have no problems with American accents, from the deepest of Deep South through the Appalachians to a heavy Bronx dialect. I can understand problems with Shakespeare, not because of the accent but because the vocabulary is radically different (it takes quite a few plays before you get attuned to what's being said). But GP is perfectly intelligible modern English.

#19 of 74 OFFLINE   Ryan Jameson

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Posted July 01 2002 - 05:10 AM

Quote:
What the heck is it with Americans and this incapacity to understand British accents? Stories about this occasionally make our newspapers (e.g. Gregory's Girl had to be subtitled for American audiences) to the great amusement of the locals. Brits have no problems with American accents, from the deepest of Deep South through the Appalachians to a heavy Bronx dialect. I can understand problems with Shakespeare, not because of the accent but because the vocabulary is radically different (it takes quite a few plays before you get attuned to what's being said). But GP is perfectly intelligible modern English.


We're not all completely stupid. I had very little trouble with the accents in the film, but then I've been watching British TV and film for a long time now.

Oh, and I loved GP. It was one of two movies that I saw more than once in the theater last year.

#20 of 74 OFFLINE   Paul_D

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Posted July 01 2002 - 06:09 AM

I understood the dialogue fine. Posted Image I also thought it was a superb film. Easily one of the funniest and sharpest scripts to come along in a long long time. Also the enseble performance is once-in-a-lifetime-special.
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