Director Jesse Peretz scores some major laughs in the delightful, shrewd, and cozy French farce The Château, a cross-cultural comedy which can be considered the eccentric and frothy version of Gosford Park. Peretz, who helmed the arbitrary and forgettable First Love, Last Rites, serves up an energetic and irreverent examination of class study in a wickedly humorous charmer. The film was shot, to mixed results, with a hand-held digital video camera to give the movie an informal, spontaneous feel, and Peretz's ensemble cast were all encouraged to improvise without the safety net of a solid script. Although The Château at times appears as a scattershot project, the spry storyline more than compensates for the minor drawbacks. This is one small-scale satire that certainly knows how to celebrate its off-kilter conventions.
All is quaint at the titular chateau amongst the chief manservant and his intimate staff until a sudden shockwave rocks the establishment. Suddenly two adoptive American brothers arrive, one a Midwestern white, frumpy bohemian type (Paul Rudd) and the other a black, balding, sharply-dressed businessman (Romany Malco). The siblings are there in the scenic French countryside to claim the expansive deteriorating estate left to them by an unknown departed great uncle.
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