Film review: Downton Abbey The Movie

Downton Abbey the movie is out in cinema from today and is a blast for all fans of classic British period dramas even or especially on the big screen. It provides hilarious almost ridiculous gags and enjoyable escapism away from all this Brexit nonsense. Don’t miss it! Here’s my short review in which I reveal why I liked it. In a few weeks’ time I will publish a full Downton Abbey behind the scenes special issue that will become a collectable issue among the fans of the show. Watch this space! 

 

The story 

We return to the Great House with the most illustrious guests the Crawley family could ever hope to entertain, their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary (it’s 1927). With a dazzling parade and lavish dinner to orchestrate, Mary, now firmly at the reins of the estate, faces the greatest challenge to her tenure as head of Downton.

The calibre of the visitors causes quite a rumpus below stairs too and cracks begin to form in the usually well-oiled machine. Mary pleads with the retired Carson to return to the house, just this once, to oversee this most significant event but not everything goes to plan. The loyal Downton staff must pull out all the stops in order to ensure success and that the place they are proud to call home is presented in its greatest light.

The King and Queen bring with them a lady-in-waiting whose own story will prove explosive to the Crawleys and the future of Downton. The arrival of royalty is not a coup for all though: as an erstwhile Irish republican, Tom Branson’s political sympathies get him into trouble. Inspired by Branson’s republican stance, Daisy starts her own revolt in the kitchens and when Thomas is forced to take a step back by Carson’s return, his indulgences during his newly found free time lead to misfortune.

The sisters weather this latest disruption as best they can, but when The King offers Edith’s husband Bertie a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity it causes conflict between them. When Violet reveals some surprising news, it becomes clear that Mary must make some important decisions, for herself, for her family and for Downton Abbey.

 

The trailer 

 

The verdict 

We know Downton Abbey as a series but we would have never imagined it as a big screen blockbuster. This movie is indeed a fast-paced continuation of the beloved season and is not disappointing at all. The upstairs-downstairs stories of love, hate, jealousy and pride continue at much faster pace. All characters featured in the film have a reason for being there and all storylines are interlinked. 
 
Downton Abbey the movie is essentially the best period film that has ever come out of Britain as opposed to The Crown which is equally marvellous but based on a real story. British period dramas are renowned and popular all over the world and in America, in particular. It even has a cameo in Marvel’s blockbuster Iron Man 3, in which Tony Stark talks about it as being an ‘elegant’ show. 
 
When the 6th series ended for good in 2015, the fans were left wanting for more. But getting all these stars together -many of those now live in Californi – has taken long time even in the presence of Julian Fellowes’ brilliant script. At the press conference, Sir Fellowes admitted not to have been a big fan of the idea of Downton Abbey as a big screen movie. But he was convinced by the producers to make it. At my question of whether there will be a continuation to this, he did not say no leaving it open to potential new films in the future. 
 
Watch this space as I will publish exclusive full behind the scenes interviews in a quintessentially British special issue out at the end of October. This will be mainly in the London Mums print magazine but also online. 
 
Without spoiling the story, it’s fair to say that there’s enough material in this movie to keep it open to another story. 
 
 
The funniest gags are unsurprisingly provided by Maggie Smith and Kevin Doyle. I cannot reveal what it is about because it would be a huge spoiler but let’s just say that the movie is far more light-hearted than the series was. Bring on more Downton movies and British escapism at its best! 
 

London Mums’ rating: 8/10 

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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