Thursday, September 19, 2019

Downton Abbey Movie Review

Jim Carter stars in Downton Abbey

Business As Usual

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: This fall, the worldwide phenomenon Downton Abbey, becomes a grand motion picture event, as the beloved Crawleys and their intrepid staff prepare for the most important moment of their lives. A royal visit from the King and Queen of England will unleash scandal, romance and intrigue that will leave the future of Downton hanging in the balance. Directed by Michael Engler.

Starring: 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 Campbell Moore, Lesley Nicol, Kate Phillips, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton and Penelope Wilton

What's Good: Judging by those (die hard fans) around me, this movie is destined to be a hit. The Crawleys and their faithful gaggle of servants are (truth be told) utterly unremarkable, but they're charming and (seemingly) well-intentioned. They also have a six season/year head start, which allows them an awful lot of latitude. Best of the bunch? Dame Maggie Smith, whose promise to "lick the stamps" herself, even got me to laugh.

What's Not: Inside jokes aside, it's difficult to get excited over a 24-hour visit by the King and Queen of England (and their prickly entourage.) Granted, I'm Irish, so I could give a @#$% about any of them, yet alone the perceived heroism of a few pampered blue bloods braving the elements in order to set up some chairs in the middle of the night. Kinda puts serving in World War I to shame, doesn't it?

Budget: $13 million

Runtime: 122 minutes. Just about right.

Target Audience: Hmm... fans of the TV show?

Bottom Line: I'm one of the few people who's never seen an episode on television, but there's no denying the likability of almost everyone involved. It's also lavishly shot, and cheap to make (only $13 million.) Will I binge watch seasons 1-6? Probably not... but two mostly entertaining hours? With pleasure.

Grade: B- (This close to a B.)