Downton Abbey Movie Review: A redolent whimsy
While fans may love the idea of having this kind of a movie experience of Downton Abbey, most others would prefer to miss it.
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Harry Hadden-Paton, David Haig, Geraldine James, Robert James-collier, Simon Jones, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Tuppence Middleton, Stephen Moore, Lesley Nicol, Kate Phillips, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, Penelope Wilton
Director: Michael Engler
This one is mainly for the fans of the serial so if you are unaware of the lead characters and their motivations, the film will probably leave you cold. Reminiscent of Merchant-Ivory productions, this stately representation of the cutting English upper-lip is an attempt to help the long-running serial's fans reconnect with their favourite characters.
Watch Downton Abbey Trailer
Director Michael Engler uses the same specifics to create this fiction. The focus here is on dialogue and character and not on corpulent, obvious dramatics. It's 1927, Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) is informed via Royal Post that King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James) will be spending a night at Downton Abbey. And an upheaval follows. There's excitement and consternation both upstairs and downstairs. Peopled with intriguing characters, stiffly conscientious behaviours and wordy duels, this instalment makes you feel like you are watching an extension of the serial.
Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) sidelines butler Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier) and temporarily recalls Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) out of retirement to take charge of the proceedings. Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle), Mrs. Bates (Joanne Froggatt), Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan), Mr. Molesley (Kevin Doyle), Daisy (Sophie McShera), Edith (Laura Carmichael), Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), Tom Branson (Allen Leech), Maud Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton), family matriarch, Violet (Maggie Smith) and long-time friend/foe, Isobel (Penelope Wilton) round-up the host of largely, British actors doing time in this historic quasi-fantasy. The score heralding the grand old mansion and its occupants sounds familiar, the performances rekindle nostalgia and the treatment is lite enough to be forgettable. While fans may love the idea of having this kind of a movie experience, most others would prefer to miss it. Other than the list of thespians fronting this tale, there's nothing special here to draw you out!
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