DOWNTON ABBEY (2019)
Dir: Michael Engler
Reviewed Sept 22, 2019
WARNING: NOTHING BUT SPOILERS AHEAD
There are few surprises in the main takeways from “Downton Abbey; The Motion Picture” (snicker). Carson is called in to save the day. Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, and Isobel, Lady Merton, have verbal fisticuffs. There are questions of legitimacy and inheritance. Lady Edith Crawley has a fantastic body. And in typical fashion of 1927 England, Barrow discovers there is such a thing as a men-only club and is promptly arrested.
Oh, and the King and Queen will be staying during their visit to the region.
Beautifully photographed and lavishly set with stunning detail, just like the series, most of the movie involves itself with petty comeuppances and emotional hyperbole: this butler worrying why the kitchen assistant hasn’t set a date for their wedding, and minor household accessories go missing. Gee, I wonder if these inconveniences will work themselves out in the end. Oh, and Maggie Smith’s Violet Crawley is getting so old she regales her coquetries with stories about the time she met Archimedes.
Yet DA to me both doesn’t and does feel like the show itself, of which I’ve seen the entire run. I would add it doesn’t feel the same without Lily James’ Lady Rose MacClare, who may have been mentioned somewhere, but with the stumpy English accents, some details become muddled; she may have been mentioned, as her role by the end of the series, which ends only slightly before the events here, isn’t minor. Maybe she did “Yesterday” (see review elsewhere on this page) instead of the same-old same-old.
Want to know what this film is? Just watch any 2 episodes of the series, and you will be treated to the same interesting and mildly mellow fare. Nothing here earns a $ 12 admission price. My recommendation is to see it; when you can turn on the subtitles.