Movie Talk,  MovieMuse Reviews by Erin

Gosford Park

In a Nutshell: Toooooooooooo slow. Possible rental if you like slow British drama, otherwise skip it.

Quick Plot: A tale of the interactions among and between the “above stairs” (servants) and “below stairs” (wealthy socialites) guests at an English country manor in the early 1930s, including clandestine meetings and murder.

In Detail: I really wanted to like this movie. The previews looked pretty good. A witty comedy intertwined with a whodunit murder mystery. The few witty lines were in the previews, and they came off better there than in context. How can it be a murder mystery if the murder didn’t happen until 45 minutes from the end, and even then there was no set up per se IMO? Add to that the fact that I had the “mystery” figured out as soon as they gave the blatantly obvious clues, so there was not even that to carry me through the rest of the film. Though I am normally good with accents, I often found the constant British mumbling difficult to follow. This may have come off better in a theater where the background noise would have been “behind you” due to the surround sound, while the dialog was “in front of you,” but I’m not convinced that would have wholly solved the problem. And I do know after watching this film that Robert Altman has very little use for Americans, and significantly less for the police. Mostly a waste of my 2+ hours.

Will I Buy It? No way.

UPDATED 10-29-2023: So, 20+ years-worth of growing and learning and living and watching more movies has made me appreciate this movie a lot more. I think I was still slow, but my tolerance for that has improved as I’ve gotten older. So either the movie ages well or I do; either way, I now consider it a very good movie.