Gosford Park: interpreter needed?

Last night my wife and I pulled the Gosford Park CD out of our Netlfix pile and started to watch the movie. We only got about 5 minutes into it before we had to stop (emergency room run, kid cut a finger real deep), but in that 5 minutes I doubt we understood 3 words that were said. Now, normally I have no problem with strong English accents - I even lived in England for a while - but this was pretty tough.

So, for those of you who’ve watched this movie - does it get any easier as the movie progresses?

Jeff, I honestly don’t remember the first 5 minutes of Gosford Park but I do remember really enjoying that movie. I had to interogate my wife after it was over to get a few of the plot points. Now I don’t remember why I was confused, but it may have been their accents.

Overall it was very enjoyable. Do give it another try!

Turn on the subtitles. That’s the only way my wife and I got through it. Much of the dialog is off camera and out of ear shot.

We enjoyed the movie very much though


I have that problem with most English movies. The accent makes them almost unbareable to watch no matter how good the film may be.

Can’t they learn to speak English with an American accent? :D


Interesting that it’s the southerners having problems understanding the Brits.

I grew up in the south, but my grandmother’s from England, so I’ve never had any problems understanding British accents. (Poor woman nearly had a cow the first time I imitated a Brit accent that I’d learned on TV – it was of course Cockney, as so many TV accents are, and that just Wasn’t Right.)

On my first trip to the UK, I spent some time talking to a girl that I was convinced was from Alabama. Turns out she was from a part of Ireland that I’m guessing many of the early Bama settlers came from, because the accents were eerily similar.

We watched it last night and enjoyed it quite a bit. It took a short time to get the ears tuned in, but one of the great things about DVD is how easy it is to replay a sentence you miss.

WRT English accents, when we lived in England I got to where I could even understand the cockney accents (well, most of the time.) And British accents don’t usually give me a problem, but there are a lot of under-the-breath comments and asides in Gosford Park that are a challenge. OTOH, for the first viewing of this movie I think you should just relax and go with the flow of the film rather than trying to stay on top of every comment and interaction - there’s just too much going on with too many people. It really is a movie that probably is as enjoyable the second viewing as the first (and maybe more so in some ways.)

You should be fine as long as you keep your ears peeled. What causes the fuzzy aural representation of what is said, are the slangs and different terminologies. Why? Because as soon as a person hears a word they don’t recognize, they lose not only the sentence and intent, but also the entire dialog - because instead of continuing with the flow, the person is likely to sit there trying to figure out wtf the person just said. :)

Watch it with your eyes shut and you’ll be fine. Just kidding.

No seriously, it does get better once the initial shock is over.

Anyway, if you liked Gosford Park, go see My Big Fat Greek Wedding or get it when it comes out on video. Very beautiful - date - movie.

Anyway, if you liked Gosford Park, go see My Big Fat Greek Wedding or get it when it comes out on video. Very beautiful - date - movie.

I was wondering about that one. I heard some good reviews initally, but read a couple of mediocre reviews soon after that. I usually like those type of films where different worlds collide through love - Mississippi Masala, Fools Rush In, Crazy Beautiful.

Go see it. You can thank me later :)

I realized that watching Gosford Park was like learning to watch hockey. When people first start watching hockey on TV, they get hung up on trying to see the puck, and get frustrated when they lose sight of it. Once you learn to relax and just watch the flow of the game, everything settles in and it’s a beautiful game.

Gosford Park is like that. There is so much going on, with so many people and so many interactions and side stories, and the language differences, that if you get uptight about trying to catch every detail you’ll get crazy frustrated. But once you lay back and go with the flow of what’s occurring on-screen, it’s a beautiful film. It’s also a movie that is superb on second viewing; it’s almost like a second film, watching it again after knowing the resolution, as you pick up on things happening and people interactions that you don’t the first time through.

Bingo! That hockey analogy is apt. You’re a fly on the wall and not meant to catch everything that’s going on because Altman actually does a very good job of foreshadowing (how many times did he settle on a bottle of poison at the end of a shot?) and of reinforcing what’s actually important.

And you’re right about the 2nd viewing. It’s even more poignant when you know what’s really going on.

… and it’s still boring.

Speaking of “late to the party…” Finally got around to watching the DVD we’ve had of this movie for the past year last night.

Interesting flick. There were scattered lines I had trouble hearing/understanding, but for the most part, no problems. I think our lack of trouble probably had something to do with my life leaving the TV tuned to BBC America 22/7. But there were a few lines that were just poorly mic’d.

I noticed one of the “Options” on the DVD was “English for the Hearing Impaired.” Wondering how that works…
George: “I’m desperate for a fag.”
Garrett Morris, in a small inset: “I’M DESPERATE FOR A FAG!”

Loved the fact that it didn’t have a clear resolution, and it was interesting to see so much characterization that had nothing to do with the central story.