Review: A continuing story of the beloved Crawley family. The Crawleys and the staff have to prepare for the most important moment of their lives: an unexpected visit from the King and Queen.
Director: Michael Engler
Actors: Matthew Goode, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Tuppence Middleton, Elizabeth McGovern, Allen Leech, Joanne Froggatt, Laura Carmichael, Kate Phillips, Imelda Staunton, Raquel Cassidy, Sophie McShera, Robert James-Collier, Phyllis Logan, Hugh Bonneville, Geraldine James, Brendan Coyle, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Stephen Campbell Moore, Simon Jones, Lesley Nicol, Max Brown, Harry Hadden-Paton, David Haig, Kevin Doyle, Michael Fox, Fifi Hart, Douglas Reith, Perry Fitzpatrick, Oliver Barker, James Cartwright, Alice McCarthy, Philippe Spall, Andrew Havill, Richenda Carey, Philip Gascoyne, Marina Baibara, Rory Gauld, Tom Ashley, Ashley Lloyd, Guillaume Rivaud, Alastair King, Darren Strange and Max Hutchinson
Having watched all the Downton Abbey TV series, I thoroughly enjoyed this film, although it did feel a bit like an extended TV episode. If you are going to see this as a Downton Abbey fan, you pretty much know what to expect. It does exactly what it says on the tin. There aren’t any real surprises in it. As this was a 2-hour feature length film I do feel they could have taken some scenes out, especially in the opening scenes where I felt they were struggling slightly. Originally this film was going to be about the General Strike, as it is set in 1926, but it then got re-written. The only mention of the strike was between the Dowager Countess and The King. Not really sure whether it worked for the big screen. Watching this I was definitely reminded of Gosford Park (2001), especially at the beginning. The one element that I enjoyed the most was the cinematography, especially the sweeping shots of the house from above. I also liked how they used the garden in a few scenes as I have felt in the past that it was one aspect that has been underused. This included the classical folly in the grounds. The costuming is of a very high standard and it is great to see the 1920’s costumes back again. I also forgot how lovely the music was. Lovely to hear it again. It is always nice to see Tuppence Middleton but I felt she was a little underused and also she didn’t really have much material to work with. It was a shame that Matthew Goode wasn’t in it more. I did miss him but once he appeared the film changed and picked up, as prior to his arrival it was starting to go a bit flat. I do find he has great presence when you see him on screen. I could watch him for hours. Tuppence Middleton, Allen Leech and Matthew Goode all appeared together in The Imitation Game (2014). The actress who plays Lady Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton) is actually Jim Carter’s wife in real life. Apparently, all the ballroom scenes were filmed at Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire. It is one of the largest houses in Europe and stands in for Harewood House. Downton Abbey fans will love this film and will not be disappointed. How could you not love Maggie Smith’s one liners? Towards the end of the film the script is quite moving and you may need a handkerchief.