VETERAN director Robert Altman at 77 has fully developed his own personal style, making films with ensemble casts and interweaving plotlines.
Gosford Park - from a script by Julian Fellowes - is a typical example of the master's craft.
He has practically every top British acting talent on hand for this story set on a country estate where the coming and goings are enlivened by a murder.
While superficially one of those Agatha Christie Death in the Library sort of things, Altman uses the genre to develop characters, social mores and practically anything else he cares to investigate.
Michael Gambon - yes, the Great Gambon - is in typical form as a frosty tycoon while cook Eileen Atkins and housekeeper Helen Mirren argue with butler Alan Bates looking on.
Young Kelly Macdonald plays the new ladies' maid through whose eyes we see many of the goings-on in the great house.
Oh, and Jeremy Northam plays a real-life character, the Welsh born songwriter and matinee idol Ivor Novello.
All the stories are neatly dove-tailed together and the wit sparkles. A film for a particular audience certainly, but one which will love every one of its 130 minutes.