87. Gosford Park (2001)
This film was slightly forgotten back in 2001 because of movies like the first Lord of the Rings and A Beautiful Mind, but it is one of those rare gems that quickly becomes a favorite for those who did see it. Directed by the legendary Robert Altman and featuring what is quite possibly the greatest cast ever assembled in a film, it is a delightful mix of Upstairs, Downstairs and Agatha Christie-style mystery. As someone whose parents loved the PBS series Masterpiece Theatre and its counterpart Mystery!, I know this world of British drama quite well. Julian Fellowes' Oscar-winning script is witty, intelligent and even touching at times. And each cast member is utterly brilliant. Every single member of this ensemble is an accomplished actor and are the highlights of other films they are featured in. The list is so long it would take forever for me to acknowledge each one of them, so I'll just mention a few: Kelly MacDonald, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emily Watson, Alan Bates, Clive Owen, Stephen Fry, Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith (the latter two each received Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations). Altman's direction is absolutely superb using the "conversation-overlap-style" that served him well in his previous films like M*A*S*H and Nashville. If you have not seen this film, give it a look because it is a perfect marriage of direction, writing and exquisite casting (something we also see in the next film in the countdown!).
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