SYNOPSIS: The television series Downton Abbey followed the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who worked for them at the turn of the 20th century in an Edwardian English country house. Over its 6 seasons, the series garnered 3 Golden Globe Awards, 15 Primetime Emmy Awards, 69 Emmy nominations in total, making Downton Abbey the most nominated non-US television show in the history of the Emmys - even earning a Special BAFTA award and a Guinness World Record for the highest critically rated TV show along the way.
REVIEW: Let me start off by letting you know that I am an
Anglophile. And if you don’t know what that means, it means that I love all
things British! On top of that, I just adore a period piece. So, it goes without
saying that I am a huge Downton Abbey fan. So much so, that even after I watched
every single episode of its PBS run, with all the specials and twice on Sunday
(cause that’s when they would show last week’s episode before the next), and
even then, Cine Marcos, my husband, gifted me the entire box set of DVDs’.
So enough gushing. I was pleased as could be when I heard that my dear friends the Crawley’s and their entire staff, family and friends, were going to be on the big screen. Not that the series finale left any untied ends. It didn’t. Everyone’s lives were tied up into neat little bundles and it was as close to a “happy ever after” ending as possible. As the film opened up, it was like going back to visit old friends and catching up with them. Celebrating something new and exciting with them. And for the Crawleys, that new and exciting is that King George V and Queen Mary will be touring the countryside and have chosen to spend a couple of days at Downton. One of the members of the downstairs staff described it perfectly by comparing the workings of Downton to a swan on the water: “Grace and serenity above, chaotic kicking below.”
Someone asked me as I was leaving the screening if the movie works well as a stand-alone film. I believe it does if at least for the beauty that is Highclere Castle, known to most as Downton Abbey and its surrounding grounds, land and village. Also, the exquisiteness that is the pomp and circumstance of old-world royalty, genuine aristocracy with well-bred social behavior. The clothes, jewels, I include them all as part of the amazing scenery that this film provides. Of course, for me, it was not a “stand alone” film. We have history. I have cried, laughed and felt pride for those that inhabit both the upstairs and the downstairs of the Abbey. Lord Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) is more in love with his wife, Lady Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern) than is possible for what would have been called a “stiff upper lip” royal. They have aged a slight bit but both are as regal and handsome as is humanly possible. Lady Mary Crawley, oops Lady Mary Talbot now, is played by Michelle Dockery, perfectly, cold and aristocratic. Extremely loyal yet with a delicious bite. Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) is now Marchioness of Hexham (take that Mary!) and finally, a happily married woman. Expect retired Mr. Carson (Jim Carter), to have a hand in the preparations, even though his beloved Mrs. Hughes (Phillis Logan) can’t understand why at first. I want to tell you so much about each and every one of the all too dear characters, but I would give it all away! I will say, that as usual, the staff have a bit of mischievousness that only the oblivious (it’s better that way) Crawleys would condone. I will give you a little tidbit that will only make sense to Downton devotees such as myself. Mr. Barrows (Robert Thomas Collier) finally finds a kindred spirit. That’s all I can say! As I told that oblivious reviewer with the weird curls, yes, it’s worth seeing as a stand-alone film for the beauty of it. And if you were a fan of the series, well, there is no question. Go and see it!
Review By Priscilla