The movie was written by Robert Altman, Bob Balaban and Julian Fellowes. It was directed by Altman.
It won the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay, and was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Helen Mirren), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Maggie Smith), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Director and Best Picture. It also won the "Alexander Korda award for the outstanding British film of the year" at the British Academy Film Awards in 2002.
The hunting scene is an homage to the 1939 film The Rules of the Game.