Director: Robert Altman
Genre: Drama/ Romance/ Crime
Runtime: 137 minutes
Starring: Kelly MacDonald, Clive Owen, Michael Gambon, Alan Bates, Ryan Phillippe, Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Kristen Scott Thomas, Jeremy Northam, Richard E. Grant, Stephen Fry, Bob Balaban, Eileen Atkins, Charles Dance, Emily Watson, Camilla Rutherford
Description: The lives of upstairs guest and downstairs servants at a party in 1932 in a country house in England as they investigate a murder involving one of them.
Review: The start of the film sets the tone. This is not an ordinary detective, but an analysis of the English society of the 1930s.
On a rainy day, made Mary and her lady Constance Trentham leave for a hunting weekend. The head of housekeeping, at the mansion they are visiting, is Mrs. Wilson. It’s soon clear that nobody is called by their name, but by the name of the people they are serving. The tone is set.
Meanwhile many different characters are introduced. Upstairs we meet actor and singer Ivor Novello and his movie producing American friend Morris Weissman; the casual Isobel and her sister Sylvia; crafty Freddie Nesbit and his plain wife Mabel. We see lots of married couples, bt everything is a lot more complicated. Downstairs we have servant Henry, an arrogant young man; Butlers George, Arthur and Probert; alcoholic head butler Jennings; Head of the kitchen Mrs. Croft. Upstairs people don’t talk that much about each other, but downstairs is where the gossip starts.
It’s a pretty complicated setting, lots of characters you meet and have to get to know. You have to pay attention to keep up and to discover all the intrigue. But during all this puzzling, you enjoy all the humor that is in this film. Good dialogues, great acting and fantastic actors.
Halfway through the film, someone is murdered, which also gives this movie a detective story touch. You could criticize this, but the context is much more important than the story. Because the context is brought to the surface, the characters come to life. And also the acting makes this happen, actually by all the actors. Both the bigger and the smaller roles are performed very well. It shows that “Gosford Park” has been made with a lot of love and enthusiasm.
“Gosford Park” is a classy, yet funny and surprising costume drama. I highly enjoyed it.
Rating: 4,5/ 5