NEW YORK – A Beautiful Mind, Gosford Park and The Affair of The Necklace in the DVD glare of The Foxlight.
It survived one of the ugliest Oscar smear campaigns to win Best Picture. Now A Beautiful Mind is out on DVD and has a multiple personality of it's own: You can get it in letterbox widescreen or regular old TV square. Director Ron Howard says this is the first film he planned a DVD for since the first day of shooting. That should make for a crackerjack commentary. There are also deleted scenes and more from the real John Nash. This was near the top of my Top Ten List so if Mr. Nash will pardon it, you'd be crazy to miss this one.
Now for a director who doesn't particularly care for the narration track he gets to do on Gosford Park, the always cantankerous Robert Altman. He says he feels like a realtor giving a tour to no one in particular: over here is the dining room, in there the library, we picked this wallpaper, blah, blah, blah. Maybe the best thing is now all his famous overlapping dialog can be understood with subtitles — unless they're on top of each other too.
Finally, Hilary Swank proves what a curse an Oscar can be in The Affair of The Necklace. This was her agent's idea of a good project following Boys Don't Cry. She looks about as comfortable in period costumes as Martha Stewart does in a Merrill Lynch office. The slogan on the box says: "Her dignity was taken." At least they're offering some truth in advertising.