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The "below stairs" lives of the servants are also fully revealed, as they share living quarters, eat meals together, tend to the laundry and cooking, and gossip about their employers. The butler Jennings (Alan Bates) and the head housekeeper (Helen Mirren) run the household and try to guarantee that no real-world cares will intrude upon the lives of their employers. Since "upstairs" and "downstairs" occasionally meet very privately at night, secrets abound, many of them secrets of long standing. When Sir William is poisoned and stabbed ("Trust Sir William to be murdered twice"), nearly everyone has a motive for wanting him dead.
For director Robert Altman, the primary focus of the film is on the characters, their way of life, and their values, with the murder mystery secondary.Read more ›
This is a very underwhelming release of a best picture nominated film. It deserved better. I didn't know how many stars to give it, but I'll say 5 star film, 1 star picture quality, so I gave it 3 stars.
This is a film of seamless performances from every actor and underscores the strength of theatrical training in the British system over Hollywood's studio celebrity system. A little bit Agetha Christie, but not really, the story of a dismal weekend in the country is made all the better by Altman's direction, or ability to direct without interference in his actor's performances.
Stellar performances include Maggie Smith (Prime of Miss Jean Brody), delightful as the Countess without a pot to p*#s in, Michael Gambon (The Singing Detective), the victim of greedy in-laws and dog-haters, Jeremy Northam as Ivor Novello delivers blissful musical entertainment to guests and audience alike, Emily Watson (Metroland) demonstrates why she is one of the best young actors working today, and Helen Mirren and Clive Owen are mysterious players in the upstairs-downstairs dilemma. The depth of cast talent is akin to an archaeology dig, it just keeps getting better as time passes.
Gosford Park is a film that makes film watching a pleasure. In the hands of excellent players, a director who knows how to stage shots, and with a screen play that is both witty and informed, the audience can't loose. This is one of the best films of the year, it should be included in every film buff's library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gosford Park has all the elements that make Downton Abbey so entertaining.Published 5 hours ago by Robert Durvin
An all-time favorite. Have watched it many, many times and it never gets old. Fantastic cast. Classic Altman at his very best! Funny, surprising, and engaging. Read morePublished 7 hours ago by East West
If you love 'Downton Abbey' you should see the writer Julian Fellowes first attempt at portraying the dying world of the great houses of England. Read morePublished 22 hours ago by Virginia
It's no downtown abby. A little risqué. But on the whole enjoyable.Published 1 day ago by Liz Caraballo
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