Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Downton Abbey (2019), clever capers and royal visits

Phyllis Logan, Lesley Nicol, and Sophie McShera in Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey has spun off two movies from the popular TV series. This one, from 2019, is about a royal visit from King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James) that set the residents of Downton Abbey atwitter. It featured a delightful minor rebellion from the servants quarters that made the story fun.

Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, and Laura Carmichael in Downton Abbey
Do we have our outfits ready?

While the extended family of Crawleys led by Robert (Hugh Bonneville) and Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) were worrying over guest lists and gowns, the servants were faced with quite the shock.

When the royal couple went anywhere, their entire entourage went with them. Maids, butlers, chefs, footmen – the works. The regular staff were told to go read a good book and stay out of the way.

Well, that wouldn’t do for the Downton Abbey staff. Nobody was going to replace them when serving the king and queen in their own house. No indeed! My goodness, Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) even came out of retirement to take over from Mr. Barrow (Robert James-Collier) for the event.

Max Brown and Robert James-Collier in Downton Abbey

Thomas Barrow, free of his butler duties, met a handsome fellow just like himself. There was flirting and kissing. There was a nightclub filled with men who danced with men. Thomas Barrow was ecstatic! Have we ever seen him happy before?

The rest of the servants planned a rebellion. There were secret meetings in the wine cellar. They drugged, locked up, and otherwise disabled the royal staff and did the cooking and serving themselves. Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) solved a crime committed by the visiting seamstress (Susan Lynch). Daisy (Sophie McShera) decided she was ready to get married after all. So much fun.

Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
Look carefully, you might see Maggie Smith

Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith) was determined to convince her distant cousin (Imelda Staunton) that Robert Crawley should be the recipient of her estate when she died. She was ready for an all out fight.

Allen Leech and Tuppence Middleton in Downton Abbey

That standoff was avoided when widower Tom Branson (Allen Leech) and Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton) hit it off. There was flirting and kissing. The standoff was avoided because [spoiler].

The underlying theme of this film was the longevity of the upper class family and the legacy of Downton Abbey. The story of the family and the place went back hundreds of years. Everyone predicted that the influence of the place and the people who lived there would continue long into the future, if they could just find the money to get the roof fixed.

This film is available with your subscription on HBOMax. I think Downton Abbey fans will really enjoy it. If you’ve already seen it, please share your comments below.

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One response to “Downton Abbey (2019), clever capers and royal visits”

  1. […] Downton Abbey: A New Era has so many things happening, and so many happy endings, that you don’t notice that the 2022 spinoff from the popular TV series is over two hours long. The time is bursting with a big cast, lots of changes, and the continued emphasis on the continuity of family brought up in the previous film, Downton Abbey. […]

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