Sunday, January 5, 2014

GOSFORD PARK (2001)

Sir William McCordle is throwing a dinner party/shooting weekend at his massive country estate.  All of the upper class guests gather upstairs with the family while all of their servants are busy downstairs preparing for the weekend.  The first half of this intriguing film sets up all of the many characters stories and since there's probably over 20 main characters there's not a wasted moment or shot.  Every second the story is moving forward and getting more and more interesting until there's a double murder!  And I don't mean two people getting murdered but one character getting murdered twice!!  Who could have possibly done it?  Well, as we learn the murder victim was actually such a brutal and dastardly fellow it's probably easier to guess who didn't have a reason for wanting to see him dead.

GOSFORD PARK is a delightful film that is so rich that it can been seen over and over again and still pick up little things you missed before.  One interesting thing the filmmakers did was have the story told from the aspect of the downstairs staff.  So that way we, the viewer, only gets to see what's going on upstairs if there is a service member present.  That's a very clever idea.

A impressive ensemble cast overflowing with talent, a great little whodunnit mystery, beautiful locations and sets, quick pace, GOSFORD PARK is a great film.  The only weak part, to me, was Ryan Phillippe.  He's not bad by any means, but next to such an outstanding cast he just can't hold his own.  From what I've read Jude Law was originally suppose to to be in that role and I agree, he would have been much better choice.

Now I'm in the mood to watch some "Midsomer Murders".