Story: It’s 1927, but at Downton Abbey things are still rolling on in the traditional way, no matter how beautifully on trend Lady Mary fashions herself. But when the King and Queen of England decide to pay a visit to Downton – it’s a brief stopover during their trip to see Princess Mary don’t you know – everything gets dialed up to eleven. Including familial feuds, Downstairs jockeying, and…intrigue!
Genre I’d put it in: Beautifully Successful TV Continuations
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Based on the popular television show of the same name. Duh.
Gotta say: A perfect compliment to the hit television series, Downton is an absolute must for fans of the show, or anyone who wants to lose themselves in the jaw-droppingly gorgeous world of 1920s British aristocracy.
Julian Fellowes crafts a script that pays homage to the show while bringing the characters into the increasingly modern world. Director Michael Engler (Downton Abbey, naturally) deftly juggles all of the subplot balls Fellowes throws into the mix, letting viewers easily follow all of the twists, turns and roundabouts of the story. And, of course, the cast is absolutely brilliant.
Folks that have never seen the television show – the horror! – may find themselves at a loss here and there, but the movie gracefully drops enough exposition tidbits to let those viewers keep up. This film feels like a natural extension of the series, one that I didn’t know I needed so desperately. Still, if you’d a newbie and would like the full experience, try to catch at least a few episodes, or at least partake of a YouTube synopsis before hitting the multiplex.
Without spoiling too much, let’s just say that there’s something for just about every character here; a hot plumber, a sad princess, Aunt Violet’s estranged cousin, a secretive fellow, a single nice Court employee that stands out from the rest, and hey – the Earl has a new doggo! That’s just a small taste of everything that goes on. But Our Gang handles it all with the furious aplomb we know and love.
Needless to say everything turns out alright before the end credits roll. How could it not? It’s Downton. Things have been running along just fine for over three hundred years. No need to throw a spanner in the works now.
#Protip: Yes, the other fine house you’ll see here in Downton is Chatsworth House, aka Pemberly from 2005’s Pride and Prejudice. No shirtless Firth though. Pity.