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Gosford Park

Director:Robert Altman
Writer:Julian Fellowes
USA Films; R; 137 minutes
Cast:Emily Watson,

In 1932 a lecherous nouveau-riche British lord (Michael Gambon) invites a wide range of guests to his estate for a weekend of hunting and high-society romp. Good time for a party...or a little revenge. The unpleasant lord gets murdered in a setting worthy of Agatha Christie: a manor loaded with suspects and motives. Emily Watson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jeremy Northam, and Maggie Smith are just a few of the familiar faces lurking around Gosford Park.

Longtime director Robert Altman pulls the British murder mystery into his signature style. The top-notch cast allows Altman to do what he does best: depict a broad social fabric where interweaving threads of personality and plot achieve both breadth and depth. Undesirable Altman traits, like his mean-spirited misogyny, are for the most part muted here. Broad, elegant, and exquisitely detailed, Gosford Park places near the top of Altman's oeuvre.

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