Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Allen Leech, Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Kate Phillips, Max Brown, Joanne Froggatt, Robert James-Collier, Imelda Staunton, Sophie McShera, Raquel Cassidy, Hugh Bonneville, Phyllis Logan, Brendan Coyle, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Lesley Nicol, Michael Fox, Kevin Doyle, Tuppence Middleton, Matthew Goode
The movie is an extension the PBS series Downton Abbey. It is set a few years after the series ended. The Crawley family has just received word that the King and Queen of England will be traveling through the area and will be staying at Downton Abbey. There will be a military parade and a formal ball.
The movie starts out with Mr. Crawley receiving a notice from the
royal household that Queen Mary and King George V will be coming to stay at Downton Abbey. Buckingham Palace sends all their own staff and a chef to care for the King and Queen. The Downton Abbey servants are offended by the royal servants and plot to get them out of their way.
I am very torn about this movie. It was everything I wanted but I do not feel satisfied after seeing this. I LOVED the PBS series. I loved all the characters, the turmoil, the ups and downs of life in general. It is showed that life can be messy but beautiful all at the same time. It showed that you may not always get what you want but you almost always get what you need (or deserved) despite being crazy rich or in servant role.
The movie did not have this depth. It did keep some of the best parts about the series like the digs that Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith) and Isobel Merton (Penelope Wilton) constantly made towards each other. I think they took it too far in the movie. Not in what they said but in the frequency of what was said. It was almost as if they tried too hard to incorporate the charming effect this had in the series.
I understand that this is a two-hour movie and has time limitations that a series does not. They moved through the story line very quickly and made references about deeper and darker issues without delving into them: like the underground nightclub that Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier) went to or the marital issues between Princess Mary (Kate Phillips) and her husband. I missed the darkness.
They made sure everyone was present and well represented. There was a complete ending for every major character. They were all tidy endings with happiness and joy. The one off was the vague illness that Violet Crawley refers to at the end. Despite it being sad news, they still managed to give you love and hope out of it for the future of her granddaughter Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and the entire Crawley family.
This was a good movie and it gave you closure but it left you unfulfilled. It made me miss the PBS series even more.
The cast is just as amazing as it was during the PBS series.
The script was pretty good overall. Again, I think they tried a little too hard in certain places and the movie was extremely predictable. That being said it had everything you wanted the movie to have.
The scenery was beautiful. The costumes really transport you to another time.
Should You Go See This Movie?
It is a good movie. Well-acted and entertaining but will leave you feeling like something is missing. Go see it but be prepared for happy ending closures and no real depth.