Gosford Park

131+ min. Arrow Video c/o MVDvisual. 2001. Blu-ray UPC 760137187882. $34.95. Rated: R.
Featuring a who's who of British performers and a smattering of lesser-known but gifted American ones, Robert Altman's tongue-in-cheek comedy of manners laced with a period murder mystery à la Agatha Christie plays like a trial run for scripter Julian Fellowes's subsequent Downton Abbey. Among its ensemble cast is Maggie Smith honing her grumpy dowager persona. The familiar upstairs-downstairs caste system is in place for a weekend shooting party with a plethora of personal dramas afoot. Arrow's extras-laden edition sports a spit-and-polish fit for a finicky butler.
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