12 Clever Mysteries Like The Glass Onion Fans Should Check Out
2001’s “Gosford Park” takes the quintessential murder mystery setup — a wealthy aristocrat (Michael Gambon) is murdered over a weekend in the country, and everyone is a suspect — and filters it through the sensibilities of its famous director, Robert Altman. Like his 1975 masterpiece “Nashville,” the film’s cast is huge, including Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Clive Owen, Kelly McDonald, Ryan Phillippe, and Bob Balaban (who developed the movie). history with Altman). The camera is almost always moving, capturing the work that keeps a great English home together and how communities come together and enforce their own rules; the lords and ladies above are bound by duty as are the servants below. When a hapless detective (Stephen Fry) arrives to investigate the murder, the result is almost an afterthought.
But as much as the film reflects Altman’s style and thematic concerns, it bears the mark of its screenwriter, Julian Fellowes, who a decade later would create the BBC series. Downton Abbey. Fellowes and Altman share a sensitivity to class dynamics and how distinctions are applied in both subtle and explicit ways, but “Downton Abbey” fans will no doubt find many of Fellowes’ favorite interests here, from his encyclopedic knowledge of Britain between the wars, to the way his characters view America (and Hollywood in particular) with a mixture of awe and disdain, to giving Maggie Smith only the sharpest and sharpest lines the most hilarious things he can think of.