In November 1932, a phalanx of moneyed guests arrives for a weekend shooting party at the estate of Sir William McCordle (Michael Gambon) and Lady Sylvia (Kristin Scott Thomas). Mary (Kelly Macdonald), a fresh-faced, naive new maid accompanies the sniping Countess of Trentham (Maggie Smith), and is shown the ropes by the house's worldly head housemaid, Elsie (Emily Watson). While the masters engage in various financial and sexual intrigues upstairs, the world downstairs has its own curiosities--namely, the predatory valet to a Hollywood producer, Henry Denton (Ryan Phillippe), and the mysterious, cagey servant, Robert Parks (Clive Owen). Mary soon discovers that the image of servants living vicariously through their masters is a false one, and that the upstairs-downstairs worlds are often shockingly interwoven. With GOSFORD PARK, Altman delivers a fascinating, blackly comic look at the treacherous yet poignant gamesmanship between the classes.