Downton Abbey (2019), clever capers and royal visits
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.
Daphne: Emily Beecham stars as the aimless Daphne
Daphne is a character study. Emily Beecham plays the disconnected Daphne as she faces life unwillingly. She does not want to grow up, but at 31 she gets plenty of reminders that she needs to grow up.
Review: The Beast Must Die
The Beast Must Die, a mystery from the UK, is a slow-moving psychological drama. It’s about grief and loss and coming to terms with that. It was on AMC+ and is now on Acorn TV.
Review: Back to Life, comedy from the UK, seasons 1-2
Back to Life tells a serious story in the British comedy style. It’s about a woman who spent 18 years in prison. She is trying to get her life back to normal. I saw it on Showtime, but I think it’s available elsewhere, too.
Beast, with a breathtaking performance from Jessie Buckley
Beast examines the hidden bestiality in the human psyche. This grim story stars a brilliant Jessie Buckley in a role that won her awards. Director Michael Pearce also won awards for this film. It’s streaming on Prime Video.
Review: Anne with an E, season 3
The final season of Anne with an E is now available on Netflix. Anne turns 16, finishes up her last year in her small school, and goes away to college. She learns more about herself and finally notices boys.
Review: Anne with an E, season 2
Anne with an E season 2 is loosely based on the Anne of Green Gables novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Adapted in this version for Canadian television by writer Moira Walley-Beckett, the series is available on Netflix. There are some minor spoilers ahead.
Review: 45 Years
45 Years is a tale of broken hearts. Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay) are planning to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary when a letter arrives that sets off tremors in both of them.
Review: Megan Leavey
Megan Leavey is based on the true story of a female Marine and her bomb-sniffing dog Rex. It is in theaters now and available on Amazon Video.
Review: The Five
The Five on Netflix has a lot going for it. Harlan Coben created it. It’s from Red Production Company and produced by Karen Lewis – the same folks who bring us Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley. The star is Tom Cullen, a big selling point.