Gosford Park

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Gosford Park Movie Poster Image
Wonderful British whodunit with some sexual content.
  • R
  • 2001
  • 137 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The intelligent script reveals just how intertwined the lives of the different classes really are, despite outward appearances. The movie also explores what lengths people will go to in order to protect the ones they love.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No one is terribly upset when Sir William is murdered and it becomes clear why -- he used his power and class to hurt many. Before he dies visitors still suck up to him for money. The head housekeeper, Mrs. Wilson, tries hard to protect the ones she cares about.

Violence

A murder by poisoning and then the corpse is stabbed. You see the corpse fall over with a knife and no blood. A bullet grazes an ear in a hunting scene. One servant sexually assaults another, but is caught before it goes beyond rough kissing and groping.

Sex

Three affairs between servants and those they serve. Two scenes show a kitchen maid in the dark with some thrusting in the shadows barely visible. Some bawdy talk and sexual references, including mentions of illegitimate children and hints of a homosexual relationship.

 

Language

Language is infrequent but includes "f--king." Also: "s--t," "piss," "hell," "damn," "bloody," and "bugger all." (Note that cigarettes in Britain are called "fags.")

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Smoking in many, many scenes in this 1932-set movie -- cigarettes and pipes. A drunken servant is carried to bed and there's plenty of drinking of wine and whiskey at the dinner parties.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gosford Park has sexual references and situations (briefly graphic), including adultery, a hint of a homosexual relationship, and an attempted molestation. There is some strong language and a character is murdered by poisoning and stabbed afterward. Accurate to the period, characters smoke and drink heavily.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byFosterFan September 9, 2011

Robert Altman's amazing comeback...

Gosford Park is a wonderful, smart and terrifically entertaining film. Excellent performers join a very good script to create a complex portrait of flawed being... Continue reading
Adult Written byB P April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byLionel September 5, 2009

Wonderful for Mature Teens

Gosford Park is a beautifully rendered film. No, it isn't a 'murder mystery'. Rather, it is a deep, dark, multi-layered drama centering mainly ar... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byRenCat23 January 6, 2018

Boring

it's as if the plot was given a sedative

What's the story?

Set in the 1930s, GOSFORD PARK takes place at the home of Sir William (Michael Gambon) and his wife (Kristin Scott Thomas), who invite an array of guests for a weekend at their lavish country estate. Among the guests are "old money" Lady Constance (Maggie Smith), early screen idol Ivor Novello (Jeremy Northam), and Hollywood film producer Morris Weisman (Bob Balaban), who tags along to take notes on the place for a Charlie Chan movie. Secrets abound amongst the upper crust, while gossip swirls in the quarters of the regimented servants (Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren, Ryan Phillippe, Emily Watson, and Clive Owen, among others). When Sir William is murdered, what ensues is a cross between Upstairs Downstairs, an Agatha Christie murder mystery, and a game of Clue. The estate becomes the setting for intrigue, romance, ambition, betrayal, and revenge, with the many overlapping and intersecting storylines revealing a cautionary tale about class, secrets, money, sex, and love.

Is it any good?

As in his best movies, director Robert Altman masterfully handles a dozen overlapping and intersecting storylines. Somewhere in the midst, there is a murder, but its resolution is incidental to the many other revelations and confrontations.

The Oscar-winning script is superb, but the movie is mostly a banquet of magnificent performances by most of England's finest performers. The Collector's edition DVD has outstanding extras, including commentary by the director, production designer, producer, and screenwriter, deleted scenes, and a Q&A session with the film-makers. Strongly recommended.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how each of the different characters fits into the overall story. Which characters do you sympathize with the most? Which do you dislike the most?

  • Who in the film actually cares about Sir William? Why?

  • Why was it so important to be the "perfect servant"? What will happen to each of the characters in 10 years?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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