19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant- but pay attention...,
This review is from: Gosford Park [DVD]  (DVD)
From the outset I was intrigued by this film because it was advertised as a murder mystery with a stellar cast, so I expected great things. And I wasn't disappointed. The cast are all excellent; with some surprises- a dumbed-down Stephen Fry as the laughably incompetent police inspector and Ryan Phillipe with a Scottish accent! I enjoyed each character, even the dislikeable ones, from the bored distain of Lady Sylvia (Kristen Scott-Thomas) to the haughty mysteriousness of valet, Robert Parks (Clive Owen). The acting and dialogue are credible, authentic and intelligent, and the script, like the plot, is full of subtleties. But it's well to note that you have to pay attention or you'll miss something important, which is perhaps why this film is best viewed more than once.
The murder mystery plot is only one facet of a series of storylines that co-ordinate well in this film- and it is as much, if not moreso, a critique on the relationships between different social standings and the (sometimes seedy) trappings and traditions of the aristocracy, a dying breed in 1930s Britain.
Visually, the film is stunning (and not just for having Clive Owen and Ryan Phillipe in the same film...) -I loved the attention to detail- everything from the gorgeous dresses to the old-fashioned servants' protocol, something that really deserves credit here. The soundtrack too is fantastic. Because of the slightly slow-moving pace of the film and the complexity of several sublte sub-plots, this film is not going to appeal to everyone, but if you like the cast (Which, let's face it, is hard not to) , you won't be disappointed!