|January 4, 2002|
|Entertainment Film Distributors|
|Comedy, Drama, Mystery
Rated R for some language and brief sexuality
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”, Maggie Smith stars in both incarnations with a subtly and humor that is unmatched throughout the film. With a huge ensemble cast, with several noticeable 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 wealthy man murder mystery story-line with precision, taking over 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 just 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.