Gosford Park

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

Like a busy ant farm in a glass jar, the elegant English country estate of Gosford Park is a bevy of activity as aristocratic guests arrive with their valets and personal maids. Lady Sylvia (Kristen Scott Thomas) and her older husband, Sir William McCordle (Michael Gambon) have invited an eclectic group of acquaintances for a weekend of shooting. Included among the guests is Lady Sylvia's aunt (Maggie Smith), whose stinging remarks veil her desperate financial situation. A handsome film star (Jeremy Northam) arrives with his friend, Morris Weisman (Bob Balaban), an American film producer. While their employers mingle upstairs, the visiting maids and valets struggle to blend in with the household staff downstairs, strictly supervised by the stoic housekeeper, Mrs. Wilson (Helen Mirren). Suddenly the superficial gaiety is interrupted by a murder, and dark secrets slowly come to light. GOSFORD PARK fascinates viewers with gorgeous sets, interesting characters and a suspenseful plot set in 1932. This slice of life from a bygone era depicts the contrasts in the haves and the have-nots and the struggle of both groups to maintain their dignity as their pretentious world begins to deteriorate.

Among Sir William's few admirers is head maid Elsie (Emily Watson), who is having an affair with him. And cold, bored Lady Sylvia finds the American's handsome young valet (Ryan Philippe) a challenging conquest. In a brief scene, maid Dorothy (Sophie Thompson) and the butler (Alan Bates) are shown, partially obscured, having sex, but no nudity occurs. Most liaisons are revealed through suggestive remarks and actions. Scenes of the victim's crumpled body and a man shot in the ear don't focus on the wounds. Gossiping and eavesdropping fill the servants' spare time as they seem to live vicarious lives through their employers. Cocktail drinking and heavy smoking abound at every social gathering along with some drunken behavior. Helping earn its R rating, GOSFORD PARK includes nine obscenities and a few profanities. Uncivilized language, the brief sex scene, seemingly condoned adultery and some implied sex between unmarried couples, run down the image of this critically acclaimed film.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
USA Films, 100 N. Crescent Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times Mild 3, moderate 1

Obscene Language: Several (9) times - F-word 6, s-word 2, other 1

Profanity: Few (3) times Regular 1 (G); Exclamatory 2 (thank G)

Violence: Few times Moderate (man jumps on girl, man shot in ear, man stabbed - no blood)

Sex: Once (obscured, back view of man no nudity); Implied once (woman invites servant into bedroom who begins to undress her)

Nudity: Near Nudity - Few times (woman in revealing slip, womens bare backs shown in baths)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (man brushes female servant's chest with hand, passionate kiss)

Drugs: Frequent alcohol drinking, some drunkenness; cigar and cigarette smoking

Other: Self-absorbed snobs have empty lives, servants try to cover employers faults

Running Time: 137 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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