Lady Mary Talbot- Michelle Dockery
Earl of Grantham- Hugh Bonneville
Lady Grantham- Maggie Smith
Mr. Carson- Jim Carter
The Crawley open the doors to their Yorkshire countryside Estate known as “Downton Abbey” to the Royal family in this continuation of the hit BBC series that will be enjoyed in theaters worldwide!
Julian Fellows has penned a grand conclusion to the Crawley family drama and the interactions with the staff that made Downton Abbey a monster TV series and the real estate Highclere Castle that served as the set for 6 seasons and now for the first feature film. Another amazing feet nowadays, Fellows has assembled 99% of the original cast that fans fell in love with in 2010 that includes Allen Leech (Tom Branson), Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates), Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates), Kevin Doyle (Mr. Moesley) and Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes) along with all the rest of the familiar faces from the 6 seasons of the TV series.
Downton Abbey the film opens four years after the series ended with the Town of Yorkshire growing and becoming modernizing with car shops and trolleys running threw town and Lady Mary Talbot (Dockery) and the Earl of Grantham (Bonneville) continue to try to keep Downton afloat with full service staff, a leaky roof but mostly because the times are changing and the Large English estates are disappearing. A royal correspondence is delivered to Downton Abbey to the shock of Mr. Barrow (Robert James-Collier) who gives it the Earl…..The Royal Family is coming to Downton Abbey!
Below the staff is a bustle because this is the event the service staff lives for, to serve the King and Queen of England. Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nichol) and Daisey (Sophie McShera) gather provisions for the epic dinner they plan to prepare for the Royal family. Mr. Moseley took time away from teaching to don his livery and begs the new butler Mr. Barrow to help serve the King and Queen. Barrow, new to his role, is struggling with getting the house in order for the King and Queen’s visit and Lady Mary discovers this and has only one move to make Downton Abbey ready for the Royals, she brings back Carson!
The image of Downton Abbey in the countryside is magnificent, but the defining scene in this film is Carson returning to Downton walking up the drive in his long-coat and derby to re-0establish his leadership. It gave me goosebumps. Downton is polished and shined, a parade is planned for town and a Grand ball is planned at Princess Mary’s (Kate Phillips) estate. Two days prior to the King and Queen’s arrival, their service staff arrives and informs the service staff at Downton that they will not be needed. This is demoralizing to Anna, Mrs. Patmore and of course Moseley.
It wouldn’t be Downton Abbey without Lady Grantham (Smith) planning some covert action that will save the family while verbally jousting with Cousin Isobel (Penelope Wilton). This time Maud Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton), Lady Grantham’s cousin, plans to will all her family assets to her maid Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton) instead of her sole surviving relative Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham. This would only happen over lady Grantham’s “dead body”.
I was also happily surprised by the story line around Tom Branson (Leech). Tom the Irish step son of the Earl of Grantham has stayed on at Downton Abbey as the Agent working with Lady Mary in addition to working at a car shop in town. Tom ends up with a crucial role in the Royal visit, Lady Granthams covert plan and unknowingly helps the Princess too, Way to go Tom!
If you can’t tell by this review, I am a fan of Downton Abbey. You don’t have to have seen the six seasons of the show to enjoy this film, but it would help with a lot of the character back stories like Edith (Laura Carmichael) and her struggles to find a husband and rivalry with Mary, Anna and Mr. Bates courtship and Tom Branson’s struggle to fit in with the Crawley family. Anna explains to Lady Mary that “Downton Abbey is the heart of county and Lady Mary keeps it beating”, but as a fan I would add to that the Service staff downstairs is the heart of Downton and what really made the TV series must-see viewing and will make this film #1!!!
Flickanalysis: 5/5 stars!!!
It is tea time and you nee to make your way to the theater and return to DOWNTON ABBEY. This is one of the best films of 2019 and should have many catching up on the DVDs and seeing this film numerous times!
Rated PG-13 (language, suggestive material)
Running Time 122 minutes