Gosford Park - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gosford Park Reviews

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January 24, 2017
Boring and overrated.
½ November 3, 2016
I'm missing Downton Abbey something fierce so I figured it was about time that I watch Gosford Park. The cast is amazing, especially Helen Mirren & Maggie Smith. There are so many characters to get familiar with in such a short amount of time, but I enjoyed it.
½ October 25, 2016
If you liked Downton Abbey, but wished there had been a bit more stabbing, have I got a movie for you. Gosford Park came first, of course, but there is so much overlap in the setting, themes, and even actors that I felt like I was watching some sort of companion piece. It's a slow burn, but ultimately pays off in a well-crafted murder mystery. My only challenge was keeping track of who everyone was, as there are a lot of characters on screen (played by a virtual who's who of English stars).

Grade: B+
October 18, 2016
I've seen it almost 10 times and simply love it on multiple levels. I'm already looking forward to watching it again!
½ October 14, 2016
This pseudo-precursor to "Downton Abbey" acts as one of the many testaments to director Robert Altman's keen ability to juggle several characters' story lines throughout the course of one single film. What separates "Gosford Park" from films like "Nashville" and "Short Cuts," however, is the lush set direction and costume design, which helps build the completely immersive period setting for the audience to get to know the characters in. The strong performances also help sharpen this carefully paced study of class, infidelity , and relationships within society's upper crust.
September 23, 2016
This movie was well made, though it was entirely void of a plot. If you want to see how modern men recall the lifestyle of aristocrats this film is for you. In summary, this film is over 2 hours of small talk set in the 1930's.
August 31, 2016
I wasn't able to get through this movie when I first tried to watch it several years ago. Truth be told, I was simply bored. Although, there is meaty script with robust themes, I was overwhelmed by how much was packed into this film. The cast, though superb, is too big, so characters don't have an opportunity to shine. The result? A film filled with British cliches - say an Upstairs-Downstairs meets an Agatha Christie mystery. The movie's good, but its lack of breathing room prevented it from being great.
May 24, 2016
Saw this on 5/6/15
A complete waste of time had it not been for a few of it's twists in the end. One should not watch this film expecting an engaging murder mystery because for most of it's time, the film simply wastes it off with the nagging and petty talks of all it's British elites. This one is too slow to be engaging and the overlapping dialogues are horrible to stand. I won't suggest this to anyone because I felt like I lost my 2 hours+ for nothing, but it does have a few good twists in the end. The film also suffers from having too many characters in it that failed to create any sufficient character development for them or make one feel anything for them.
May 21, 2016
A treasure. This bittersweet comedy and detective film features an exceptional cast, story and look. It's worth seeing many times for the subtle and rapid dialogue, visual clues and pace.
½ April 2, 2016
The film is at its best as social satire, as Altman and screenwriter Julian Fellowes take every opportunity to expose and skewer upper-class snobbery. Altman's technique also allows his huge cast to act up a storm, in the best sense. Gosford Park has roughly half the best actors in England in it. Altman takes you from one delicious subplot to another, serving up mirth and misery in equal measure and exploring the gulf between the lives of those above and below stairs. The whodunnit aspect is not the meat of the movie. It is instead the characters themselves and their personal affairs, hang-ups, and peculiarities that make the film interesting to watch. Contents and style converge smoothly and seductively in Altman's luxuriant period drama that applies Agatha Christie murder-mystery format to a rigorous anatomy of British class structure in the 1930s, with all the who's who in U.K. in the cast. Taking advantage of a splendid cast, a sharply focused script and the fresh English setting, Gosford Park emerges as one of the most satisfying of Robert Altman's numerous ensemble pictures. Altman juggles about thirty different characters, moving them from the upper-class upstairs to the servants' quarters and he does so without losing the audience. A love affair between performer and filmmaker. The director shows off his ardor by eliciting from his actors aspects of their gifts that they themselves may not have known they had.

VERDICT: "High-Quality Stuff" - [Positive Reaction] This is a rating to a movie I view as very entertaining and well made, and definitely worth paying the full price at a theatre to see or own on DVD. It is not perfect, but it is definitely excellent. (Films that are rated 3.5 or 4 stars)
March 20, 2016
If the board game 'Clue' were a movie (and I realize it already was), 'Gosford Park' would fit its pieces nicely thanks to its delicately constructed plot and unique personalities portrayed by its cast. The 2001 Best Picture Academy Award-nominated film had a limited audience both while in theaters and after the fact, but it deserves some attention for a few reasons.

The film, which was directed by Robert Altman (Mash, A Prairie Home Companion), is set in the pre-war English countryside, where a wealthy group of guests are hosted at a manor for a weekend party of hunting, games, singing and...murder? Some of 'Gosford's strengths include its witty-yet-smart dialogue, ability to paint a picture of two very different classes and humanize them (servants and aristocrats) and its killer cast (no pun intended). Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon (both paired together before their 'Harry Potter' days) lead the impressive performances, with a young Ryan Phillippe and Kelly Macdonald also delivering in somewhat surprising ways.

Again, the "tale of two cities" setup for this film works well, as we get to follow the series of events through the eyes of both the upper and lower classes as clues are revealed during the hunt for who's responsible for the event that brought all the fun and games to a standstill. While much of the film is shot within the enormous home, the cinematography is still respectable, and adds to the feeling that the film indeed is set years back in time. But perhaps the best part of 'Gosford' is the character development - especially among the servant class, which helps humanize these people in a way that many films do not.

By the end of 'Gosford Park,' the events of the film are pretty believable, and while there really is no true resolution, audiences strangely are okay with how things turn out. That is just one sign of a truly well-done piece of cinema.
½ March 18, 2016
Its almost two different movies split in half. Both of them work. The upstairs downstairs drama that is familiar to many is enough to make a movie in itself, with the great cast and writing. The story actually gets multiple layers going before bringing in even more fun the second half. All around a great period representation of the English upper class and their household behaviors.
November 30, 2015
Period dramas seldom arouse the attentions of an audience in the way blockbusters do, by appealing to the masses with themes we‚??ve become accustomed to. And as the period drama may appear daunting to some with its lavish set d√©cor and formally intimate dialogue, Robert Altman‚??s Gosford Park advertised itself as a murder mystery interwoven within a period setting, a big change to what anybody would have expected. Born out of the influence of Agatha Christie, as well as the long-running Charlie Chan series of the 30‚??s, Gosford Park is influenced heavily by murder mystery benchmarks, but that does not mean its period aura won‚??t be felt, because I can safely say that nothing can overcome the period look, not even essentially this cinematic version of cluedo. Gosford Park focuses on the lives of both its masters and servants, where an amalgam of different people with diverse personalities, careers and ambitions intertwine under the same roof in a bid to solve the murder, but end up discovering something about themselves instead. One would have expected the murder to occur at the onset, or 20 minutes in, but after an hour, it finally does revealing itself to merely act as a tool to forward the characters‚?? personas. It is a prolonged opening that allows for some back-story to the characters, and by characters, I mean everyone that resides in Gosford Park! And that gives the film such density and atmosphere because every hierarchal section of Gosford Park is investigated, making for an unsurprisingly hefty experience.

The trailer and the film‚??s build-up create this cryptically suspenseful feel about the place, but as the murder is committed, the murder kind of relinquishes its suspenseful grip on us and dwindles in importance until the revelation right at the very end ceases to be of concern for us or even the characters for that matter. We are meant to see Gosford Park as a character focused film where the story functions as an expansion to the characters‚?? personalities, people we are meant to see a narrative within. It may be misleading but Robert Altman loves his characters, and wants them to consistently drive the story where their needs requires it to, constructing an extremely slow and old-fashioned narrative. But, that is the appeal of Gosford Park for it harks back in story, character and set design to a time where this was blockbusting stuff.

Gosford Park is the epitome of the period genre, beautifully crafting the Gosford Park estate so that every inch of the interior is a vast and luxurious historical wasteland of imbalance where two different ranks of society coexist. And in those ranks, an ensemble cast of Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas, Charles Dance, Tom Hollander, Bob Balaban, Clive Owen, Emily Watson, Derek Jacobi, Richard E. Grant and Stephen Fry fill the mansion. They are all fantastic in their performances, but three cast members have to be singled out for individual acclaim. Michael Gambon gives such a dominating performance of pure acrimony and pomposity that his demise lets us rejoice that the murder finally arrives. Helen Mirren is the complete opposite of Gambon, quietly and perhaps slightly eerily creeps her way through the corridors and house keeps more than just the estate, but a secret embedded within the fabrics of her worn out appearance. But it is American Ryan Phillippe who travels the Atlantic and dominates the British in their own playground. You may recognise him from American teen films such as Cruel Intentions and I Know What You Did Last Summer, but upon hearing his remarkable Scottish accent, you may believe his portrayal enough to mistake him for Phillippe‚??s Scottish doppelganger, until he masterfully deceives us all.

Gosford Park is a strictly mature film, with lush dialogue and complex relationships, so it comes as no surprise that it is restricted to senior viewers, but the now completed Downton Abbey was born out of Gosford Park‚??s critical success, and look at the popularity of that, so audiences should try, at least once, the period plushness Gosford Park proposes.

The Verdict:

Gosford Park fails to make the most of its delicious murder mystery setup, but in its place offers a character-fixated story that breeds some staggering performances from Helen Mirren and Ryan Phillippe in particular.

‚??‚??‚??‚??‚??‚??‚??‚??‚??‚?? 6/10
November 13, 2015
This is cinematic perfection - like it or not.
½ November 2, 2015
Superb acting, clever screenplay. What's to say... quite lovely !
Super Reviewer
½ October 25, 2015
I'm sorry, I know that this is supposed to be a critically acclaimed film, but I just can't see what all the hype is. There's nothing really noteworthy about this aside from the fact that it's got a great cast. And honestly? This has to be the most boring film I've ever seen. I mean holy shit this is a snoozefest.
October 17, 2015
The sheer size of the cast of characters may make things intimidating and confusing at first; but, as the story enfolds, director Altman creates a vivid picture of the lives of the people in the house, both upstairs and downstairs. The murder mystery doesn't even happen until more than halfway through the film, and even then, it takes a backseat to all the drama and gossip. If you're expecting thrills, you should look elsewhere. However, stay if you're fans of the distinguished cast and dramas full of multiple subplots.
October 7, 2015
Love everything about this film!
½ September 22, 2015
A well assembled story about the emptiness of the manners of the high British society between wars with a great cast. At the beginning you can feel a little confused with so many characters but in the end you know all of them.
½ September 17, 2015
Altman's direction is at its most effective, allowing actors to fully explore their characters by themselves, bringing life to Julian Fellowes' wonderful, if a bit uneven script. There are four excellent performances in this great ensemble: Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Eileen Atkins and Alan Bates. And finally, the music by Patrick Doyle is superb.

One of my favourite films of all time.
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