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The Academy Award winner for Best Original Screenplay, Gosford Park is a whodunit as only director Robert Altman could do it. As a hunting party gathers at the country estate, no one is aware that before the weekend is over, someone will be murdered - twice! The police are baffled but the all-seeing, all-hearing servants know that almost everyone had a motive. This critically-acclaimed murder mystery features a who's who of celebrated actors. With a diverse cast of characters - all with something to hide - it'll keep you guessing right to the surprising end. Gosford Park proves that murder can be such an inconvenience.
Gosford Park finds director Robert Altman in sumptuously fine form indeed. From the opening shots, as the camera peers through the trees at an opulent English country estate, Altman exploits the 1930s period setting and whodunit formula of the film expertly. Aristocrats gather together for a weekend shooting party with their dutiful servants in tow, and the upstairs/downstairs division of the classes is perfectly tailored to Altman's method (as employed in Nashville and Short Cuts) of overlapping bits of dialogue and numerous subplots in order to betray underlying motives and the sins that propel them. Greed, vengeance, snobbery, and lust stir comic unrest as the near dizzying effect of brisk script turns is allayed by perhaps Altman's strongest ensemble to date. First and foremost, Maggie Smith is marvelous as Constance, a dependent countess with a quip for every occasion; Michael Gambon, as the ill-fated host, Sir William McCordle, is one of the most palpably salacious characters ever on screen; Kristin Scott Thomas is perfectly cold yet sexy as Lady Sylvia, Sir William's wife; and Helen Mirren, Emily Watson, and Clive Owen are equally memorable as key characters from the bustling servants' quarters below. Gosford Park manages to be fabulously entertaining while exposing human shortcomings, compromises, and our endless need for confession. --Fionn Meade
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Top Customer Reviews
Giving nothing away our murderer is revealed from obscure clues presented early in the film and the unknown connections to each other only given at the end as expected.
It is a delightful little treasure.It does not try to be insightful, introspective or "deep" but it is just pure enjoyment .
A group of British aristocrats, American movie-makers, and their servants all converge at the country estate of Sir William McCordle for a weekend “shooting party.” McCordle , a self-made millionaire, is loathed by his wife, daughter, nearly all of his guests, and several of the servants. He spend much of his time during the weekend completely alienating nearly everyone he talks to. Sometime during the second evening, he turns up dead, the victim of a murder. Whodunit? That’s the job that Inspector Thompson, a slightly bumbling police Inspector, must find out…
“Gosford Park” is a marvelous film from start to finish. It clearly shows the great divide that existed between the British upper-class and their servants. It’s also a wonderful, witty murder mystery, filled with many moments of humor. It has many elements that derive from books written by Agatha Christie. Although there’s precious little action in “Gosford Park,” the writing and acting are so good, and the story so interesting, that the film remains fascinating throughout its two-hour runtime.
I originally purchased “Gosford Park” on DVD, but decided to upgrade to a high definition version of the film. As a result, I purchased a copy of the film on Blu-ray disc, which turned out to be an import from Canada. I found myself somewhat disappointed by the overall quality of the video and audio quality on the disc, although I must say that they are still vastly superior to what’s found on DVD. Recommended.
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