GOSFORD PARK

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
OCTOBER 19, 2013

Anyone that has a fascination with “Clue” or “Downton Abbey” or “Boardwalk Empire” will get a kick out of 2001’s “Gosford Park.” Openly the launching point for the PBS series “Downton Abbey, ” it shows that Maggie Smith stars in both incarnations with a subtly and humor that is unmatched throughout the film. With a huge ensemble cast, with several outstanding performances, like that of Kelly MacDonald before her starring role on “Boardwalk Empire,” she takes on an almost leading role, becoming the center of the mystery that surrounds the film. Director Robert Altman follows the rich man murder mystery storyline with precision. He takes the first half of the film to introduce all the players and their possible motives, exonerating several of the characters immediately and playing with expectations and assumptions based on the evidence, complete with the bumbling, ignorant detective. Rounding out the cast is Kristin Scott Thomas, Ryan Phillippe, Clive Owen, Helen Mirren, Emily Watson, and Michael Gambon, to name a few. Relying slightly too heavily on the dramatic interest in these characters and not delivering the mystery sooner, the revelations come too quickly, and suspense is never really allowed to build. Besides some standout performances, “Gosford Park” leaves no real, lasting impression and becomes a dance of all the characters juggling for screen time.

RELEASE DATE
December 26, 2001

DIRECTOR
Robert Altman

WRITTEN BY
Julian Fellowes

STUDIO
USA Films

R
(for some language and brief sexuality)

COMEDY
DRAMA
MYSTERY

131 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Andrew Dunn

COMPOSER
Patrick Doyle

EDITOR
Tim Squyres

CAST
Eileen Atkins
Bob Balaban
Alan Bates
Charles Dance
Stephen Fry
Michael Gambon
Richard E. Grant
Derek Jacobi
Kelly Macdonald
Helen Mirren
Jeremy Northam
Clive Owen
Ryan Phillippe
Maggie Smith
Kristin Scott Thomas
Emily Watson

PRODUCED BY
Robert Altman
Bob Balaban
David Levy

BUDGET
$19.8 million

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