I'm fairly certain that most vintage and/or murder mystery lovers will have seen Gosford Park by now but just in case you haven't...you really ought to! I mean, the cast alone is enough of a draw: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Kelly Macdonald, Kristin Scott Thomas, James Wilby, Stephen Fry, Richard E. Grant, et al.
The first time I watched Gosford Park I didn't think much of it plot-wise because, for me at least, it fell flat as a murder mystery. But, upon re-watching, I realised it was a very nice snapshot of this sort of life. Like an Upstairs, Downstairs type of thing. And it works far better on that level for me than it does as a murder mystery. But as that is part of the plot, I felt it belonged in this series of posts.*
It has a lot of the tropes/clichés associated with a cosy murder mystery - an assorted cast of characters staying at a country mansion on a rainy weekend; a central much-disliked character; everyone has a motive (well, not everyone but enough of them do) and so on.
But it really is the characters, their backstories and their interactions that interest me the most. And, of course, there are the costumes.
Look at these gorgeous waves in Kristin Scott Thomas's hair!
More gorgeous waves. Swoon.
Kelly Macdonald's sleek and practical bob is adorable.
And the house is so beautiful, too.
I know that in the DVD extras it is discussed that Robert Altman and Julian Fellowes consulted various people who had worked in the service around this time. There is a scene where one of the staff spits on a fork and polishes it and one of the consultants is horrified because no one would ever have dared to do that. They assured him the scene would be cut but, of course, it wasn't. I found that a rather amusing little snippet.
Anyone else love this movie? I've lost count of the times I've watched it. And how did it work for you as a murder mystery?
Andi B. Goode
*I feel like I've written about this movie before, now, but I can't quite remember. Oops.