By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –
The early Twentieth Century was a very unique era. There was the transition between social hierarchies to a more modern take on how society could operate. Art and culture also began to shift from traditional types of work to bold statements of creativity. Gosford Park is a delightful dramedy because it captures the essence of English society in 1932 while also providing a clever story based on an idea by Robert Altman and Bob Balaban.
This film features an Oscar-winning screenplay by Julian Fellowes because of its social commentary on high-class English society. An interesting fact is that Fellowes also wrote for Downton Abbey, which shares similarities with Gosford Park. Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith also deliver Oscar-worthy performances even though they both lost the Best Supporting Actress Award to Jennifer Connelly for A Beautiful Mind. The overall design of this film is also a lot like The Remains of the Day (1993), which was another Best Picture nominee. It appears as if the Academy has adoration for films that center around British culture because of its tendency to nominate films that are either based on British literature or film that takes place in that country. Robert Altman did a miraculous job directing this film, which earned him a Golden Globe, but he unfortunately lost the Academy Award to Ron Howard.
Gosford Park is much more than the name of a wealthy estate on the English countryside. It is an ode to a time period that many people admire. Such a fascination with the European lifestyle has resulted in countless films and television shows, including The Crown (2016- ). It is such a pleasure to know that Robert Altman’s imagination resulted in one of the best films of 2001. He might be gone, but his legacy will never be forgotten, so go ahead and enjoy your stay at Gosford Park.
Gosford Park (2001) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time the characters drive old-fashioned cars
Take a Drink: whenever the upstairs women wear expensive and authentic jewelry as part of Jenny Beaven’s Oscar-nominated costumes
Drink a Shot: whenever there are servants on screen (and there is actually a servant in every scene of this film, which means that viewers will be taking shots all throughout the picture)! (don’t actually do this)