1982 / 108m - UK
Drama, Mystery
The Draughtsman's Contract poster


November 02, 2023


Despite his fascination with the classical arts, Greenaway is a pretty interesting director. While The Draughtsman's Contrast may take the form of a costume drama, it's not a film that adheres to strict genre conventions. Greenaway's direction is always playful and different, and even though it doesn't always align with my tastes, it's never boring.

Neville is a young artist who is commissioned by a wealthy landowner's wife to make some drawings of the real estate. Her husband is away and besides a hefty payslip, Neville also serves as a sexual toy for the misses. He feels like he has the situation under control, but he still gets caught in a web of intrigue.

The film isn't too serious (though I wouldn't call it an outright comedy), the cinematography is pretty remarkable and while there are still many typical elements of the costume drama present, the film never feels stuffy or outmodish. It's far from a personal favorite, but a lot better than the norm.