From small screen to silver screen; after the success of the TV series of the same name this feature length comes into cinemas with an already enthusiastic following. Whether you’ve seen the TV series or not the combination of the stellar cast and beautiful setting makes this film an easy watch.
It’s the early 20th century and Downton Abbey has been thrown into disorder as preparations for a royal visit begin. The pre-established relationships from the series are cleverly woven into the film so to prevent newcomers from alienation or pressure to feel that this film is only for fans of the series.
A ‘best of British’ cast fill this film, most of them familiar faces with Hugh Bonneville and Maggie Smith leading the charge. As well as the addition of Imelda Staunton as Lady Bagshaw to freshen the line-up for the big screen.
The aesthetic of this film was stunning from long swooping shots of Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) to the beautiful 20’s style dresses made by Heather Bagley (Poldark), it is period drama done at its best. This provided the perfect backdrop for the talented cast; all of whom you could see were so settled and comfortable in their characters leading to natural, easy performances.
Watching actors so comfortable allowed me to truly relax into what was a delightful break from reality and nothing more. It was a film that fits very comfortably into light entertainment and that is because what I watched was two episodes of Downton Abbey back to back, not a film but more an anniversary episode or special. The dialogue and simple predictable story were inappropriate for the cinema and the lack lustre script weighed down the film, with character dialogue flowing nicely but the story jarring the possibility of a slick delivery.
I had anticipated something new or some purpose to put the Lords and Ladies of Downton on the big screen I was however disappointed to be served TV with a side of the overwhelming feeling it was all a little unnecessary.