Months ago when the “Downton Abbey” Movie was announced, I began binging the critically acclaimed television series, and it was a uniquely entertaining universe to be introduced to. Now that the movie is here, I’m happy to say that while not quite as strong as it’s television counterpart, it does a fine job keeping up with the high quality of drama we’re used to.
When the Crawley’s and their staff of loyal servants are notified they’re being visited by the King and Queen of England, they navigate everything from the usual family drama to life threatening challenges to ensure everything goes smoothly. This is a very visible world where reputation can determine the entire future of a family’s life and those they employ.
As we’re used to, everything in the film looks great. These sets and costumes across a sweeping and visually pleasing landscape are nailed perfectly by Director Michael Engler. The performances are top notch as the main cast highlighted by Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, and of course Maggie Smith are all first class. No one misses a step in their return.
The real question and potential obstacle to the movie is can it capture it’s audience without an attachment to the characters provided by the television show? It’s a standing start to a world where the stakes don’t seem that high at times. I believe it can.
Do yourself a favor and check out this excellent PBS show and then give the movie a try (It doesn’t spoil too much for new fans in it’s transition). They don’t make great period productions like this anymore.
GRADE: A- if you’re an existing fan, B- if you’re brand new to the story
Running time: 2hrs 2 minutes