There’s something about returning to a world we love unconditionally that stirs up all of those fangirl feels. If there’s one TV show that inspires this kind of feeling it’s a British show called Downton Abbey. Years after its finale aired on television, the producers, cast, and creator Julian Fellowes invite us back to the best kind of gift in the form of a Downton Abbey (2019) movie. This is the result of that impressive feat.
Downton Abbey (2019) Movie Review
Economies need to be made in order to ensure Downton Abbey can sustain itself and provide for the farmers that rely on the estate for their living. Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) makes plans to do just this when her father receives post baring the royal seal. Inside this important missive, Lord Gratham (Hugh Bonneville) discovers the King and Queen will arrive at Downton for an overnight stay. This sends everyone in the household into a flurry of preparations, and makes the newly promoted but inexperienced butler Barrow (Rob James-Collier) second guesses what might be expected. This inspires Mary to turn to the one person who can never tell her no, their trusted former butler, Carson (Jim Carter).
Also returning to her childhood home is Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael). Now married, and living with her young daughter and husband at their own estate, Edith feels a bit restless. Finally settled in this unexpected life and his role is Tom Branson (Allen Leech), the son in law the Crawley’s once didn’t approve of. Change threatens at the doorstep of each life inside these walls, but through it all, they remain what they’ve always been, resilient.
In many ways, this film is like the perfect end to what has been a joy to experience. While the Crawley family has gone through ups, downs and many a tragedy, through it all, we root for them, we hurt for them, we laugh with them, and much like the characters do, we fall in love with them. Or I know I did. I love the snarky but still likable Lady Mary; the very American Cora; the wit and sparring of Violet and Isobel; Daisy’s adorable naivety; Branson’s journey; and so on (and on) the list can run.
There’s something about this story, and its inhabitants that invites us into the fiber of this story. Much like the taglines for this 2019 feature film, the series once gave us so much to look forward to. Though the final episode ends quite well, anytime we can return to the world of beloved characters is a plus, unless the writers undo everything they did in the prior stories.
You are the future of Downton.
– Downton Abbey
What’s so good about this film (apart from everything) is how it re-introduces everything or more specifically how we’re drawn back into the world. It begins with a letter that we follow as it travels straight to Downton’s door, and the way the camera catches all of this, right down to the build up of the familiar strains of the theme song slowly pulls us back to this grand estate. Because this is produced as a feature film, the production quality goes up a notch or two. The grand sweeping shots of this estate elevate the setting, and as usual, the costuming is glorious and stunning. Especially pretty is the ball that closes out what is, a lovely epilogue to these characters lives.
(Oh! Then there’s the fun the servants have…! And who else loves Cora’s final line of “I do love our adventures”? It’s like a kind of nod to the fans that suits the final moments of this film so very well.)
Is the series a little bit “soapy”? Sure, but we don’t mind because it’s a story we invest our little fangirl hearts into. If you don’t see your favorite character mentioned above, never fear. Chances are, they do appear. From Maggie Smith to Matthew Goode and Joanne Frogatt with Brendan Coyle, to a bevy of new faces which include Tuppence Middleton. While I do wish Goode had more screen time (likely this is because he was working on A Discovery of Witches or another project), there are still hints of romance here and there, all of which is lovely.
I’ve zero idea if there’ll be a sequel to this (there are headlines suggesting the possibility), but if not, this is a wholly satisfying way to cap off what has been the best kind of entertainment. It’s a little bit bittersweet, a little bit romantic, and a whole lot of heartwarming feels. In short, Julian Fellowes, and the entire production team have a golden story inside these hallowed walls, and it’s an experience that makes me happy.
(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)You can return to the beginning of Downton Abbey in series one, now available (digitally) on Amazon Video or pre purchase this 2019 feature film, digitally on Amazon. ‘Downton Abbey’ Movie: Make a Return to the Grand World. A review of the 2019 Downton Abbey movie. Have you seen the #DowntonAbbeyFilm? Click To Tweet
Content note: There are some minor “tense” moments when a disastrous plot is uncovered. Additionally there is some homosexual content including a scene at a club, and a few kisses. Really, there’s nothing too worrisome or any more/less content than you’ll find in the original series. The Downton Abbey (2019) movie rates PG.
Photos: Focus Features