GOSFORD PARK [Blu-ray]
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Import Blu-Ray/Region A Pressing... 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
I loved this movie which surprised me 'cause I am not a great fan of director Altman's MASH or Nashille.
You have to really pay attention to what's on the screen because each scene is like a painting...there's almost always more than one thing to focus on; often more than one character talking at the same time. I loved that. I could't believe the bitchiness, the selfishness -- and not like Hollywood's usual over-the-top portrayals. These are people you meet at large dinner parties (minus the accents).
Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren were nominated for best-supporting Oscars and I had thought, as much as I love these performers, I wonder if they're just nominations for their body of work. Wrong...they simply are amazing.
I won't promise you will enjoy this movie as much as I, but I highly recommend you give it a try.
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 ›
Most recent customer reviews
Another of those very well produced movies by the British once again.Published 2 months ago by John Carey
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