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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Altman does UPSTAIRS/DOWNSTAIRS & Dame Agatha - or does he?
Well, strictly speaking he doesn't of course - Robert Altman never simply tags onto an established genre; he plays with it and makes it his own by turning it upside down. So, while the idea for "Gosford Park" may have been inspired by murder mysteries "Christie style" and by the likes of "Brideshead Revisited" and the BBC series about the...
Published on Feb. 23 2004 by Themis-Athena

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bad transfer
this is a really bad transfer....i checked before i bought it and saw that it was 1080p...not 1080i...but it still looks awful...too bad...cause i LOVE this movie and was really looking forward to a Blu-ray release....i actually thought that they had slipped a dvd into the case by accident.
Published on June 11 2010 by purple


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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Altman does UPSTAIRS/DOWNSTAIRS & Dame Agatha - or does he?, Feb. 23 2004
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gosford Park (DVD)
Well, strictly speaking he doesn't of course - Robert Altman never simply tags onto an established genre; he plays with it and makes it his own by turning it upside down. So, while the idea for "Gosford Park" may have been inspired by murder mysteries "Christie style" and by the likes of "Brideshead Revisited" and the BBC series about the Bellamy's Eaton Square household, we leave familiar territory the moment we enter the estate ... through the servants' entrance; for although large parts of the action take place "upstairs," it is manifestly told from a "downstairs" perspective.
Academy Award-winningly scripted by Julian Fellowes (himself a descendant of British nobility and therefore able to draw on manifold personal insights in creating the movie's characters), "Gosford Park" is primarily an examination of the unquestioningly accepted rules of the early 1930s' British class society: where, beset by primogeniture and a lifestyle often beyond their means, an aristocrat's daughters and younger sons were compelled to marry rich to maintain their expected standard of living - making a marriage for love much less desirable than one for money, even to a disliked spouse, and a marriage for love almost akin to a crime if not combined with wealth -; where servants were a necessary element of the aristocracy's life, even if largely treated as non-persons, banished to the basement and not even allowed to speak if not spoken to when called upstairs by virtue of their duties (notwithstanding the almost friendly relationship often existing between members of the two classes outside the public eye); where the perfect servant's existence was a life so unrealized that it often resulted in an overbearing interest in all aspects of his employer's life and in a precise emulation of the latter's prejudices, standards and pecking orders; where nevertheless domestic service was an important finishing school, especially for girls, frequently employed as early as at 12 or 14 years of age; where both "upstairs" and "downstairs" the greatest transgression against social etiquette was the causation of any kind of scene, as *nothing* was to be talked about as if it were truly important - requiring an immediate return to form if a breach of decorum had occurred after all - and where minute behavioral patterns such as a person's habits in pouring milk for his tea unfailingly exposed him as a member of one particular class, try as he might to associate himself with another. Yet, for all its observations, "Gosford Park" never judges: it takes each of its characters, and the entire unspoken "upstairs-downstairs" class arrangement at face value, leaving it up to its viewers to determine themselves what to make thereof.
The movie is named for the estate of Sir William McCordle (Michael Gambon) and wife Sylvia (Kristin Scott Thomas), who have invited friends and family to that most English of all country sports events - a shooting party. And they have all come: Lady Sylvia's aunt Constance Trentham (Maggie Smith), her sisters Louisa and Lavinia with husbands Lord Stockbridge and Commander Meredith (Geraldine Somerville, Natasha Wightman, Charles Dance and Tom Hollander), the Nesbitts (James Wilby and Claudie Blakley) and last but not least (real-life) actor Ivor Novello (Jeremy Northam, who also displays his outstanding vocal talent with several of Novello's songs), along with Hollywood director Morris Wiseman (Bob Balaban), in England for research on a projected "Charlie Chan" movie, and young Henry Denton (Ryan Philippe), whom Wiseman presents as his valet. Yet, while Novello is the hosts' halfheartedly-tolerated relative, Wiseman and Denton are instantly identified as outsiders: Not only are they American, but Wiseman is Jewish (and thus, implicitly socially suspect), a vegetarian (making him even more suspect for "fussing" over his food) and swears on the telephone; and Denton is quickly branded disingenuous by the servants, particularly Lady Constance's young maid Mary (Kelly Macdonald) and Lord Stockbridge's valet Robert Parks (Clive Owen), only to incur even greater wrath both upstairs and downstairs when the full measure of his deception becomes apparent.
Despised by his wife and aristocratic in-laws and also, for reasons of their own, by his own staff, primarily housekeeper Jane Wilson and cook Elizabeth Croft (Helen Mirren and Eileen Atkins), Sir William is found murdered after the second night's dinner. Enter Inspector Thompson (Stephen Fry) - and the movie's delicious survey gains another dimension, now also taking on the mystery genre; playing with it in "Charlie Chan" and "Pink Panther" fashion, with inept policemen, matching background music and cliches turned on their head, such as the obligatory assembly of all suspects, which here occurs at the investigation's beginning, not at its end.
While "Gosford Park"'s many awards are undoubtedly deserved, most fitting of all is its outstanding cast's SAG ensemble award; as all actors, including the late, great Alan Bates (butler Jennings), Derek Jacobi (Sir William's valet Probert), Richard E. Grant (first footman George) and Emily Watson (housemaid Elsie, Sir William's secret paramour and the only person grieving his death) put aside their claims to genuine starring roles in the interest of the ensemble's achievement. In addition to Robert Altman's, his son/production designer Stephen's and Julian Fellowes's painstaking attention to even the smallest set detail - including a king's ransom in tapestry and authentic vintage jewelry - and the counsel of several advisors with real-life service experience, all actors thoroughly researched the tenets of their roles; enabling them to respond in supreme fashion to Altman's preferred style of directing, which favors spontaneity, "mistakes" (often actually a movie's greatest moments), constantly moving cameras with shifting focus and overlaying, partly ad-libbed conversations over strict adherence to the script. The movie is jam-packed with information, each morsel provided only once; therefore, you not only should but actually must watch it several times to pick up on all the details you will necessarily miss initially. This is not a film for casual viewers, nor for fans of primarily plot-driven stories - but it is strongly recommended to those who appreciate delicate social comment and exquisitely-drawn characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly different, May 13 2007
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gosford Park [Import] (VHS Tape)
This has the look and feel of English "who-done-it". It is as much the society as it is a mystery. The first quarter of the movie is just introductions to the characters as they approach the manor. Then the discussions start as they are settling in and the sub plots show up but do not overwhelm the main story. If you are trying g to guess ahead forget it. Also plan for every English cliché.

I suggest that you use the closed caption option the first time through as the mumble a lot and the background music is louder than the speech tract. Don't be surprised to find that it has ended just as you are getting into it.

The DVD extras add a dimension to the movie as after watching them you can view the movie with out the sub tittles.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bad transfer, June 11 2010
This review is from: Gosford Park [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
this is a really bad transfer....i checked before i bought it and saw that it was 1080p...not 1080i...but it still looks awful...too bad...cause i LOVE this movie and was really looking forward to a Blu-ray release....i actually thought that they had slipped a dvd into the case by accident.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Gosford Park, May 17 2014
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What a piece of fluff. Even the stellar cast could not save this one -- what was the story about ???
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie, April 30 2014
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This review is from: Gosford Park (DVD)
I ordered this movie because I had not seen it in over 10 years. I was excited to get it and watch it and it did not disappoint at all!!! Wonderful British who-done-it and the characters are just great. It is a keeper.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review., April 17 2014
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This review is from: Gosford Park (DVD)
This too is a classic production, with a "gang" again of very fine actors. The musical scores are similarly beautiful, written by Ivor Novello.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable. Worth the money but a little disapointing for Magi Smith., March 14 2014
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This review is from: Gosford Park (DVD)
We enjoyed this film but knowing how Magi Smith is such a wonderful actor, I felt the writer or (film adapter) missed many good opportunities to show the "cut and thrust" yet humorous ability of Magi. Both my wife and I were quite disappointed. However, we will watch again
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1.0 out of 5 stars NOT AS ADVERTISED !, Feb. 17 2014
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This review is from: Gosford Park (DVD)
It's not only packaging, do not received proper edition as shown on site! Yet to view the actual CD...to be continued.
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2.0 out of 5 stars wouldn't recommend, Dec 31 2013
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This review is from: Gosford Park (DVD)
Not one of Julian Fellows' best works. Poor plot and minimalistic acting - we found it not engaging at all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars PARLOUR MYSTERY MOVIE, Nov. 6 2013
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This review is from: Gosford Park (DVD)
I LOVE THIS MOVIE, BOUGHT IT BECAUSE THE 4 TIMES I HAVE WATCHED IT ARE NOT ENOUGH. THE BRITISH ARE ;JUST FASINATING
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Gosford Park
Gosford Park by Robert Altman (DVD - 2002)
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