"Downton Abbey" (2019) Movie Review
Downton Abbey is a beloved show that ran for six seasons and garnered quite the audience. Until I walked into the theater to see the film that picks up where the show left off, I didn't know just how loved the show was. At 1:30pm on a Friday afternoon, the theater was completely packed. There was even a designated seating usher to help us find a place to sit. That's how full it was. As I left the theater, there was a line for the 4:00 showing. The theater was about to be filled up again. It was like Titanic all over again. I even read that Downton is projected to have a $30 million opening weekend, beating out both Ad Astra and Rambo by at least $10 mil. But did the film hold up as well as people are hoping? The answer, put simply, is yes.
The film follows the Crawley family as they get the news straight from Buckingham Palace that the King and Queen are coming to visit. Everyone is up in arms when the King's help arrives and starts belittling the Downton staff. There's also a mysterious figure lurking around the village, trying to get close to the King. With all this and more, the Crawleys must rely on one another if they are to survive the Royal visit.
There's not one negative thing that I have to say about the film so be prepared for a whole lot of adulation and praise. I was concerned that fitting a nine-episode story arc into a 2-hour film would take away from the story but writer Julian Fellowes knew exactly what he was doing. The film flowed wonderfully, never feeling rushed or overstuffed. Juggling all those characters with a shorter time can't be easy so much praise for him. There was even a hint at another film, or perhaps a revival show, so we'll keep a lookout for that as well.
Violet (Maggie Smith) has not lost a step at all. Her quips were just as hilarious as in the show and her rivalry with Maud (Imelda Staunton) always brought a hearty chuckle. The best storyline though lies with the staff, with Daisy and Miss Patmore and of course Carson bringing the backbone of the show into the film.
Be warned, there's about a 15 minute recap of the show before the film starts, which is good if you didn't have time to binge before the film or maybe just forgot a few things. I say "warned" because I did hear a couple of elderly women saying "we know this" during the recap. So just be ready for it and you won't be disappointed.
In conclusion, I loved this film as much as I loved the show. The drama, the romance, the laughs, and the excitement were all there and there was never one single disappointing moment. I give the film a 4 out of 4.
© 2019 Nathan Jasper