Downton Abbey is a British period drama that represents the continuation of the BBC television series of the same name. The film is directed by Michael Engler and written by Julian Fellowes, who is also the creator and executive producer of the television series. Much of the original cast has returned as they perform the first Downton Abbey movie. An official state visit by the British Monarchy to Downton Abbey upsets the entire staff and their way of life, as they bend over backward to please the King and Queen of England. I found Downey Abbey to be one of the year’s best movie and I absolutely loved it.
**** SPOILERS BELOW ****
Downton Abbey begins in 1927 when Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville), the Earl of Grantham, receives a letter from Buckingham Palace announcing that King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James) are coming to Downton Abbey as part of a royal tour through the country. Robert’s daughter, Lady Mary Talbot (Michelle Dockery) and son-in-law, Tom Branson (Allen Leech) are the first to learn of the royal visit, which leads to Drama 1: The Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley, Dowager (Maggie Smith), is perturbed that Queen Mary’s lady-in-waiting, Lady Maud Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton), will also be coming to Downton with the royal family. Lady Maud is Robert’s cousin and the two families have fallen out over Lady Maud choosing her personal maid, Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton) as her heir over Robert. Drama 2: Occurs when the royal staff arrives, which includes the Royal Butler, Mr. Wilson (David Haig), the Queen’s Royal Housemaid, Mrs. Webb (Richenda Carey), the snooty Royal Chef, Monsieur Courbet (Philippe Spall) and the King’s Royal Dresser, Richard Ellis (Max Brown) — the Downton staff is affronted by their extreme arrogance. Drama 3: Occurs when Lady Mary believes that Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier), Downton Abbey’s butler, will fall short for the royal occasion, so she asks Charles Carson (Jim Carter), Downton’s retired butler, to temporarily resume his former duties, upsetting Barrow. Drama 4: The plumber, Mr. Sellick (James Cartwright) who arrives to repair the broken boiler flirts with Daisy Mason (Sophie McShera), Downton’s assistant cook, upsetting her fiancé, footman Andy Parker (Michael C. Fox). Drama 5: A man calling himself Major Chetwode (Stephen Campbell Moore), arrives in Downton village. He seeks out Tom, who suspects he is a royal detective involved with security for the royal visit. Lady Mary sees Tom and Major Chetwode leaving a pub together. Assuming something’s not quite right, she follows them. Drama 6: The king informs the Marchioness of Hexham’s, Edith Pelham (Laura Carmichael), husband, Bertie Pelham (Harry Hadden-Paton), the 7th Marquess of Hexham, that he is to accompany the Prince of Wales on a three-month tour of Africa. This is a problem for Edith who is pleased for Bertie but also upset because she needs him home at the time of the tour. Drama 7: Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) discovers that one of the royal staff, Miss Lawton (Susan Lynch) has been stealing from Downton Abbey. She agrees to say nothing provided Lawton returns the stolen items and remakes a ballgown for Lady Edith after the wrong size garment was delivered to her. Drama 8: Downstairs, Anna and John Bates (Brendan Coyle) have a plan to retake the household and restore Downton’s honor. The staff agrees. Drama 9: Thomas Barrow meets Chris Webster (Perry Fitzpatrick), who invites him to a club. Webster takes Barrow to a secret nightclub where the patrons are mostly men dancing together. The police storm the club, arresting everyone. Mr. Ellis of the royal staff is watching from across the street and sees the whole incident. Drama 10: At dinner, the king is impressed by the revised menu and praises his chef’s culinary skills, however, footmen, Mr. Joseph Molesley (Kevin Doyle) is quick to defend Downton and blurts out that the head cook, Mrs. Beryl Patmore (Lesley Nicol) prepared the dinner and that the Downton staff are the ones serving it. Everyone is stunned by Mr. Molesley speaking to the king without permission. Robert apologizes for Molesley’s outburst, but the queen praises Mrs. Beryl Patmore’s cooking and tells the Countess of Grantham, Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) that they are accustomed to people behaving strangely around them.
Meanwhile, Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode), Lady Mary’s husband, arrives home in time to accompany the family to the ball at Harewood. As a self-appointed peacemaker, Lady Isobel Merton (Penelope Wilton) makes an important discovery that should settle an age-old feud. Mr. Carson and his wife, Mrs. Elsie Hughes Carson (Phyllis Logan) discuss Downton Abbey’s future. Carson asserts it will stand for another hundred years with the Crawley family still living in it.
As a fan of the popular BBC TV series, I was happy to see Downton Abbey come to the big screen, despite the long wait of three years since it ended on TV. From the moment I heard the familiar Downton Abbey music while entering the movie theater, my heart started jumping for joy. From what I could see of the trailer, the whole cast had reassembled once again to excite us with the ups and downs of a British hierarchy family in the late 1920s. I learned so much about the culture just watching through-out the 6 seasons that Downton Abbey aired. The movie didn’t slack on the heartfelt comings and goings of the household. I found the movie generated much enjoyment with just the right touch of drama and secrets, as well as disappointments. Downton Abbey left me with hopes of seeing a second movie, but without one beloved character, who I will not disclose at this time. Make no mistake, there is a lot more story to be told. I’m trying not to spoil all the surprises or all of the twist and turns this movie has I stored for you. Aside from my love of period pieces, I deem Downton Abbey as one of the better movies of 2019. It opened with a $31M box office and is slated to pull in much more. I highly recommend it to all ages — Downton Abbey is just simply delightful. Check It Out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged allen leech, Andy Parker, Anna Bates, Bertie Pelham, Beryl Patmore, brendan coyle, Charles Carson, Chris Webster, Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, Daisy Mason, david haig, Douglas Reith, Dowager Countess of Grantham, downton abbey, Earl of Grantham, Edith Pelham, elizabeth mcgovern, Elsie Hughes, Eva Samms, Fifi Hart, Geraldine James, Harry Hadden-Paton, Henry Talbot, Hugh Bonneville, Imelda Staunton, Isobel, jim carter, Joanne Froggatt, John Bates, Joseph Molesley, Karina Samms, kate phillips, Kevin Doyle, King George V, Lady Mary Talbot, Lady Maud Bagshaw, Lady Merton, Laura Carmichael, Lesley Nicol, Lord Merton, Lucy Smith, maggie smith, Major Chetwode, Marchioness of Hexham, Master George, matthew goode, Max brown, Michael C. Fox, michelle dockery, Miss Marigold, Miss Sybbie, Monsieur Courbet, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Webb, Oliver barker, Penelope Wilton, Perry FitzPatrick, Philippe Spall, Phyllis Baxter, Phyllis Logan, Princess Mary, Queen Mary, Raquel Cassidy, Richard, Richard Ellis, Richenda Carey, Robert Crawley, Robert James-Collier, Simon Jones, Sophie McShera, Stephen Campbell Moore, Thomas Barrow, Tom Branson, tuppence middleton, Violet Crawley, Zac Barker
Fantasy movies have rocked the screen this summer. While Self / less is not about a super hero, it touches on a subject that we’ve explored forever, immortality. I’m going to critique this movie in two parts. The first part for those who have not seen Self / less and the second part those who have. So part two not only will give away the story but basically be a huge spoiler.
Ben Kinsley plays a wealthy business tycoon named Damian Hayes who is dying of terminal cancer at the ripe old age of 68. A business card discreetly leads him to a contact named Professor Albright (Matthew Goode) and company offering a procedure called Shedding that transfers your consciousness into a genetically engineered healthy body. In Damian’s case, $250M will give him a second chance at life. He must say good bye to his current life, friends and family and tell no one. This concept is nothing new, it’s just presented differently. As the movie forges on, we begin to see that Professor Albright and his company isn’t as it seems. Many lies come to light, which makes for a very interesting film. As Damian, who is on heavy medication, begins to experience heavy hallucinations, he is sure that something is terribly wrong. He discovers that he is being lied to and there’s no one who can help him because his death was staged and his new body has no identifying marks of his past. He is now Edward Hale (Ryan Reynolds), a younger man with no ties to Damian Hale. I found Self / less interesting but full of questions for which there were no answers. Despite the obvious, I still liked this movie and would recommend seeing it.
IF YOU HAVE SEEN SELF / LESS OR DON’T CARE ABOUT SPOILERS READ ON — IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN SELF / LESS THE FOLLOWING WILL SPOIL THE MOVIE FOR YOU!!!
Damian learns that his new body is a real person who sacrificed himself for money to save his dying, sick daughter. After investigating, he discovers everything he needs to know about the procedure, Albright and his illegal company. There are many twist in this movie that lead to many questions. I am posting a few of the obvious ones.
These are some questions you might ask after seeing Self / less:
- How unstable of a person would you have to be to believe anyone has the technology to manufacture a body good enough to replace a human body that can fully function except the brain?
If this technology did exist, why couldn’t they just make you look like you, only without being ill?
- What kind of person sacrifices a human being, including themselves or a loved one, for money. Someone donated their perfectly healthy young son for some unknown reason.
- Since this procedure is contingent on a healthy brain, how can you offer a service that you can’t guarantee the outcome of your brain staying healthy and charge that kind of money?
- How long could Albright’s brain stay healthy? What would be the contingency for his clients who continue to need his assistance?
- How long would it be before some of these people are recognized?
I don’t think the Company was well thought out. There’s no way any plan this sloppy could survive. Too many loose ends.
I really liked Belle, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Another movie based on a true story that tells the horrors of the Black Plight. In 1761, Dido Elizabeth Belle was born to a white captain of the Royal Navy and Maria Belle, a Black enslaved African woman from the West Indies. When her mother died, her father, Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) took his daughter, Belle to his aristocratic uncle, Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife Lady Mansfield (Emily Watson) to be reared in a better environment with all the advantages Blacks were not privy to. Ironically, the biggest trial in British history, regarding a slave ship and an insurance company, known as the Zong massacre, was being decided by Belle’s great uncle who was the chief magistrate presiding over the case. Talk of this trial reached Belle who quickly learned what being Black really meant. She had been sheltered from her heritage until now. Belle’s cousin, Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon) was also being rared in the same house by her great uncle, Lord Mansfield. The two girls enjoyed a nanny, a great uncle and a great aunt who absolutely adored them. As time past, Belle’s father past away and left her 2000 pounds a year making Belle practically rich while Elizabeth’s father, who remarried, wouldn’t even acknowledge her, leaving her penniless, at the insistence of his new wife. This intriguing story is well told and very interesting. Now that Belle is on DVD and Blu-Ray, it’s definitely worth a look.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged african woman, Black plight, blacks, captain sir john lindsay, dido elizabeth beele, elizabeth murray, emily watson, gugu, lady mansfield, lord mansfield, maria belle, matthew goode, mbatha-raw, royal navy, sarah gadon, tom wilkinson, west indies, zong massacre
THE IMITATION GAME is nominated for Best Picture, Directing, Best Actor, Best Actress, Film Editing, Music: Original Score, Production Design, Adapted Screenplay (writing).