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Gosford Park

  • Drama
  • Mystery
  • 2001
  • Robert Altman
  • 131 mins
  • 15

Summary

Ensemble murder mystery from the writer of Downton Abbey and featuring Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren. In 1930s rural England, a battery of well-to-do guests and their servants attend a weekend's shooting and socialising. But their reverie is shattered by a murder, after which everyone is a suspect.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

At his prime, during the 1970s, maverick director Robert Altman would take an established genre and turn it on its head - the war movie with MASH, the western with McCabe and Mrs Miller, the private-eye thriller with The Long Goodbye. With Gosford Park he was back and firing on all cylinders, imposing the same trick on the English country-house murder mystery. A huge cast of mostly British thespians - including Richard E Grant, Emily Watson, Kelly Macdonald and Clive Owen - fleshes out the part whodunnit, part Upstairs, Downstairs satire, while Altman assuredly presents the 1930s-set drama from the servants' perspective. The opening scene - when the guests and their maids and valets arrive at Gosford Park - is as good as anything Altman's done in 30 years: multilayered and impeccably choreographed. Meanwhile, the dramatic pace is maintained thanks to some sparkling dialogue - the acidic Oscar-winning script is by Julian Fellowes, prior to creating hugely successful TV series Downton Abbey - and fine performances. It has all the makings of a classic, but then Stephen Fry's bumbling detective arrives and a surfeit of irony defuses the exquisitely constructed mood.

Credits

Cast

rolename
Constance, Countess of TrenthamMaggie Smith
Sir William McCordleMichael Gambon
Lady Sylvia McCordleKristin Scott Thomas
ElsieEmily Watson
Mary MaceachranKelly Macdonald
Robert ParksClive Owen
Mrs WilsonHelen Mirren
Mrs CroftEileen Atkins
JenningsAlan Bates
ProbertDerek Jacobi
Morris WeissmanBob Balaban
Ivor NovelloJeremy Northam
Henry DentonRyan Phillippe
GeorgeRichard E Grant
Inspector ThompsonStephen Fry
Raymond, Lord StockbridgeCharles Dance
Louisa, Lady StockbridgeGeraldine Somerville
Lt Commander Anthony MeredithTom Hollander
Lavinia MeredithNatasha Wightman
DorothySophie Thompson
FreddieJames Wilby
Isobel McCordleCamilla Rutherford
BarnesAdrian Scarborough

Crew

rolename
DirectorRobert Altman

Details

Theatrical distributor
Entertainment
Released on
2002-02-01
Languages
English | Latin
Guidance
Swearing, sex scenes.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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