This is one of those movies I remember really love when I first saw and then didn’t watch again for years only to rediscover it all over again. It features a stellar ensemble cast consisting of pretty much every British person ever. The cast went on to win the Best Ensemble at the SAG awards. I remember when Sir Ian McKellan won the SAG for his role in the first Lord of the Rings movie, he quipped something about being the only British actor not in Gosford Park. The film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress Dame Helen Mirren, Best Supporting Actress Dame Maggie Smith, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design and won Best Original Screenplay – Julian Fellowes. The curious thing about Julian Fellowes is that, at least for me, I loved this film to death and was absolutely bored by two of his latest efforts – Vanity Fair and The Young Victoria. It makes me wonder if perhaps those screenplays would have been fine if he’d had the same calibre director as Altman, or if this screenplay was a one hit wonder?
This film is one of the all-time great ensembles out there. It features stellar performances from so many great actors. It also is so wonderfully stylized, from the costumes to the sets to Jerry Goldsmith’s phenomenal score. The film was nominated for 9 Academy Awards in 1997. Although it lost Best Picture to Titanic, Kim Basinger walked away with the Best Supporting Actress award as did the Adapted Screenplay by Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson.