Gosford Park

{5/5} “If there’s one thing I don’t look for in a maid, it’s discretion. Except with my own secrets, of course.”

In 1932 wealthy people thought they were better than everyone else. They had servants to attend to their every whim. When they travelled, they took at least one of their servants with them. When a family gets together for a hunting party everyone has their own agenda. William McCordle is at the centre of the family — he’s the one with the most money and the least charm. When William is murdered, there’s a large number of suspects.

Gosford Park was released in 2001. This is the second time I’ve seen it.

A fair amount of our introduction into this world is through the eyes of Mary, Lady Trentham’s new maid. Mary is a somewhat naive young woman who learns a lot over the weekend.

The wealthy will say anything in front of the servants, completely ignoring their presence in the room — until they want something. Just as there’s a hierarchy among the wealthy there’s one among the servants.

There is a lot going on in this movie — you have to pay close attention. There’s a large cast of characters. Some of them are looking for money, and some are looking for revenge. You really feel as though a lot has happened in the story before the movie started. By the end of it, there’s more than one shocking revelation. There are many brilliant character interactions, some of which are quite funny. When Maggie Smith laughs, you will definitely laugh with her.

The mysterious, playful, and jazzy music is by Patrick Doyle (Brave).

Playing the wealthy are Maggie Smith (Sister Act) as Lady Trentham, Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) as William McCordle, Kristin Scott Thomas (Random Hearts) as Sylvia McCordle, Camilla Rutherford (I Love Luci) as Isobel, Jeremy Northam (Cypher) as actor Ivor Novello, and Bob Balaban (2010: The Year We Make Contact) as movie producer Morris Weissman.

Playing the servants are Helen Mirren (Red) as Mrs. Wilson, Eileen Atkins (Cold Mountain) as Mrs. Croft, Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves) as Elsie, Clive Owen (Inside Man) as Robert, Derek Jacobi (The King’s Speech) as Probert, Richard E. Grant (the TV show Captain Star) as George, Alan Bates (Hamlet (1990)) as Jennings, Ryan Phillippe (Flags of Our Fathers) as Henry, and Kelly Macdonald (Brave) as Mary.

And playing Inspector Thompson is Stephen Fry (Wilde).

The movie was directed by Robert Altman (MASH).

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 12th, 2012 at 7:10 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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