Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson vs. Gosford Park



I need to watch more Altman, because I really enjoyed both of these. Buffalo Bill features a brilliant comic performance from Paul Newman, treats its Native American characters with dignity, and both critiques and subverts a lot of typical ideas about the "Wild, Wild West." Gosfor Park, on the other hand, not only subverts two genres (the lavish period drama and the Agatha Christie house party murder mystery) but also, in my opinion, certain aspects of Julian Fellowes's screenplay. I think it's fair to say Fellowes didn't intend to be as critical of the upper classes as the finished film is, based both on some of his own comments and his later, very similar work on Downton Abbey, which is largely a jerkoff session to Britain's faded aristocratic past. Altman's voyeuristic camera adds a lot to the proceedings as well. Of these two films, I have to say I prefer Gosford, largely because the characters are more memorable, and it packs a much stronger emotional wallop. I also think Helen Mirren really deserved an Oscar for her work in it.