I've got to hand it to Glenn Close for working so hard to get her dream project made. I'm happy for her for any awards she receives, and wish the movie all the success in can muster.
That said, I couldn't stand to watch it.
All the accolades for makeup the film has received crack me up. Close and Janet McTeer, who play women masquerading as men in order to scrape by in the male-dominated service industry in 19th century Ireland, look nothing at all like men. It's impossible to believe that anyone would be duped by their disguises. Perhaps the poor makeup jobs represent a pinpoint criticism of the upper class's indifference toward the help -- which maybe stretched so far that wealthy wretches refused to even look at their employees' faces. That's too much of a stretch to make, though.
Believability problems aside, the story is as dry and slow as the overrated Gosford Park. I appreciate the themes of survival in the face of repression, but I ached for this thing to end from the halfway point on. The film was adapted from a short story, and perhaps a short story it should have stayed.