Altman's ensemble take on a British country house murder mystery set in 1932 that showcases both the upstairs and downstairs inhabitants. Actually, the murder is given short shrift in this look at the manners and mores of the snobs and their servants. Sir William McCordle (Gambon), a self-made man, is giving a weekend shooting party whose guests seem mainly to be the grasping relatives of his cold, aristocratic wife, Lady Sylvia (Scott Thomas). He's the murder victim but nobody really seems to care much (he's not a very nice guy). There's even a couple of American interlopers--movie producer Morris Weissman (Balaban) and his "valet" Henry (Phillippe). Keeping who's who straight is confusing and the pacing is sedate but the cinematography is gorgeous and the cast are all-pro.
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Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 137 minutes.
Originally from British.
Oscars 2001: Orig. Screenplay; British Acad. 2001: Costume Des., Film; Golden Globes 2002: Director (Altman); N.Y. Film Critics 2001: Director (Altman), Screenplay, Support. Actress (Mirren); Natl. Soc. Film Critics 2001: Director (Altman), Screenplay, Support. Actress (Mirren); Screen Actors Guild 2001: Support. Actress (Mirren), Cast; Writers Guild 2001: Orig. Screenplay; Broadcast Film Critics 2001: Cast.
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