Movie Review – ‘Downton Abbey’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

This week, I saw the ‘Downton Abbey’ movie at the cinema! I really enjoyed it! And this is coming from someone who’s only just got into the TV series recently. Thankfully Hugh Bonneville said you don’t need to watch the TV series, since you can go into the film without getting confused. He was right! 🙂

‘Downton Abbey’ is a period TV drama series that was shown on ITV1 from 2010 to 2015. It lasted for six seasons and has had five Christmas Specials. The show was written and created by Julian Fellowes, who I’ve seen as an actor in ‘Monarch of the Glen’. ‘Downton Abbey’ is highly acclaimed as a TV series.

Like I said, I’ve only got into the series properly very recently due to the release of the new movie at the cinema. I was aware of it when it was on TV, but I never got into watching the series on its initial transmission, since…well, let’s be honest, ‘Downton Abbey’ isn’t the kind of TV series I’d usually go for.

I mean it’s not exactly ‘Doctor Who’, is it? 😀 But saying that, I wouldn’t say no to watching period drama. I like watching it from time to time. I’ve even reviewed period Drama productions on my blog. When my parents suggested we go and see the new ‘Downton Abbey’ film at the cinema, I was up for it. 😀

Just for those of you who are unfamiliar with the series, ‘Downton Abbey’ focuses on the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants. The series has gone through many phases from 1912 right into the First World War and up to the 1920s. It’s an invigorating approach to a series.

The ‘Downton Abbey’ movie continues where the series left off and is set in the year 1927. In the film, the Crawley family receive a special official visit from the King and Queen of England. Rivalry ensues between the Downton Abbey staff and the Royal staff on who should be attending to the Royal Family.

As I’ve found from watching the TV series so far (that’s four episodes of Series 1 by the way), there’s a lot to take in, especially with characters I’m unfamiliar with and situations that take time for me to acknowledge. There’s even an assassination attempt taking place on the King of England in the movie.

There are names and faces that I recognised from watching both the TV series and the movie of ‘Downton Abbey’. Hugh Bonneville of course is very familiar to me as Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham, as I’ve seen him in the two ‘Paddington’ movies. He’s also been in ‘Doctor Who’, both on TV and in audio.

There’s also Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham; Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Talbot; Laura Carmichael as Edith Pelham; Jim Carter as Charles Carson; Phyllis Logan as Elsie Hughes; Brendan Coyle as John Bates; Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates; Sophie McShera as Daisy Mason; Lesley Nicol as Beryl Patmore; Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham; and Penelope Wilton as Isobel, Lady Merton. These people have returned from the TV series to be in the film.

I didn’t realise Raquel Cassidy (who I’ve seen in ‘Doctor Who’) was also in ‘Downton Abbey’ as Phyllis Baxter. The film also features Imelda Staunton as Lady Maud Bagshaw, Mark Addy as Mr. Bakewell, Richenda Carey as Mrs. Webb, Geraldine James as Queen Mary, Simon Jones as King George V, Kate Phillips as Princess Mary, David Haig as Mr. Wilson…what?!…David Haig is in this film?!…DAVID HAIG!!!

I was amazed to see David Haig in this film, having seen him in ‘The Moon Stallion’ and the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The Leisure Hive’. David Haig plays the head butler Mr. Wilson, who attends to the Royal family and causes problems for the Downton Abbey staff. He could easily have become a villain here. 😀 David Haig has also changed quite significantly from when I last saw him in ‘The Moon Stallion’. 😀

I did like the little romance going on between Allen Leech as Tom Branson (who I’ve seen in the TV series) and Tuppence Middleton as Lucy Smith, Lady Bagshaw’s maid. It was nice to see how the movie ended with Tom and Lucy dancing on the terrace whilst everyone else was dancing inside Harewood House.

As I watched the film, I did notice many of the audience laughing away at some of the comedic moments, especially with Maggie Smith’s character. It did get emotional towards the end of the film between Maggie Smith’s Violet Crawley and Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary, which I appreciate very much.

The ‘Downton Abbey’ movie has been worth watching. I might not know much about the TV series, having only got into it recently. Hopefully after watching the movie, I’ll get into the TV series more. There is a lot to keep track of with characters and situations, but the film has been easy to get into. 🙂

‘Downton Abbey’ is well-made as a series and as a film with great costume drama and cast performances. I can tell how big a following it’s had with its fans. I’m not sure if the film is the beginning of something new. Perhaps a second film will be made after this one. If it happens, I won’t be surprised. 😀

Somebody said that the movie is like an extended episode of the TV series. I suppose that’s true, but in a good way, I hope.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


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