Film

Meet Downton Abbey’s Daddy

In my hunt for content, I realize I’ve got perfectly good drafts floating around. Here’s a musing of mine from a few weeks back.

This weekend, I watched Gosford Park.

I looked at it three times: Twice on Saturday, and a bit more on Sunday while I did my hair.

Like Downton Abbey, it focuses on upstairs/downstairs culture on an English estate in the early 1900s. The first time I saw it, I was overwhelmed by the pace. If ever a movie was like Downtown Abbey on crack too much sugar, this is it. There was a lot going on, and some people that I just never figured out.

One blog I skimmed said that Gosford and Downton were opposites. But I disagree. I think they’re very similar. Both were (are) written by Julian Fellowes. As already mentioned, they take place in the same worlds–only a few years apart. Both offer viewers plenty of scandal, sexual innuendo, and dialogue using words such as “Lordship” and “Ladyship”. In short, Downton and Gosford are both equal parts juiciness and class.

If pressed for a difference, I’ll be honest. The main thing that I noticed is that Downton has more humorous moments*, and it was easier for me to determine who’s who. (There’s an unhappy couple seen arguing in a couple of scenes. By the time my third viewing was over, I felt like I’d only just begun to understand their backstory.)

Also–although all of the actors were fantastic–I thank God for Maggie Smith. In fact as Ms. Smith is in Gosford, so she remains in Downton. She plays the “snarky-yet-charming aristocrat” flawlessly.

Overall, I enjoyed Gosford Park. If you watch Downton Abbey, once you see this movie, you’ll probably go, “Ah-ha! So THIS‘s where they get that from…”

*I know the trailer makes Gosford Park look like a hoot. But I felt its tone was more solemn than Downton.

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