"Downton Abbey" criticism: Has the return to the nobility been successful?

"Downton Abbey" criticism: Has the return to the nobility been successful?

Finally "Downton Abbey" again! After six successful seasons, the hit series dares to go to the movies. Whether the transformation of the lordly drama series has succeeded, you read in our review.

The story: Royale guests announce their arrival

It's the year 1927. Three years have passed since we had to say goodbye to Downton Abbey. The British nobility is still the center of life of the Crawleys and their servants. But before them is a special challenge: The British royal couple King George V and Queen Mary announces his visit. This not only means that the old walls have to be revamped. Also a parade and a gala dinner want to be planned.

With only a few exceptions, the household is also full of zeal – until the fearsome royal servants arrive and seize the helm. The housekeeper Mrs. Carson (formerly Hughes), the cook Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) and the rest of the staff do not want to accept this without a fight …

The jump of the series on the big screen

Success story "Downton Abbey": The series, which was started in 2010, was surprisingly a great success, viewers worldwide have enthusiastically followed the concerns of Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and her family. In the best "The house at the Eaton Place" -man also the staff were not too short.

"Downton Abbey" achieved 52 episodes in six seasons. In December 2015, just four years ago, she found her degree. The end worked around, the makers of series creator Julian Fellowes could complete the story satisfactorily: Loving figures like Lady Edith found their great love, the future of Downton was secured.

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The Crawley family attracted millions of viewers to the screens worldwide.

A sequel was not necessary. But can you get too much from something good? At least from "Downton Abbey" not! Shortly after the end of the series, rumors spread that Fellowes still had some stories about Downton in store. And the fact that the leap from television to screen can work has been proven among other things by "Sex and the City".

Everything the old & just because so nice

The "Downton Abbey" movie celebrates the return to the nobility. As a spectator we follow in the first minutes of the film, as the letter announcing the visit of the royal couple on the trip to Downton Abbey makes – by train and the post office until the postman carries him by motorcycle. Then the obligatory loving swing to the former abbey, accompanied by the catchy title tune of the series. And then it's done: we're back in Downton!

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While the gentlemen have breakfast, …

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… the lunch is already prepared in the kitchen.

DOWNTON ABBEY movie
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Fellowes does not make the mistake of confronting viewers in the film with too much change. In Downton everything goes its usual course, Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) has breakfast as usual with daughter Lady Mary and son-in-law Tom Branson (Allen Leech) in the breakfast room. In the basement are the cook Mrs. Patmore and her kitchen help Daisy (Sophie McShera) at the work. Everything is exactly as it should be. Paired with the so-known rooms and exquisite costumes a wonderful sight for the fans! Of course it is not enough to fill a whole movie. And let's be honest: We always liked to see how the Crawleys had to cope with unexpected adversities and emerge stronger.

Downton Abbey is at its best

As adversity, the royal visit turns out to be too. It disrupts all of Downton's residents, providing more than enough material to give each character time. So Lady Mary summons her former butler Carson (Jim Carter) out of retirement so he can help her with the festivities. And she quietly doubts whether so much pomp is still contemporary.

Her grandmother, Lady Violet (Maggie Smith), represents a clear position here, but is reluctant to see the Regent's visit because it means a reunion with a seconded cousin. The clash provides ample opportunity for their quick wits, without which "Downton Abbey" would simply not be the same.

DOWNTON ABBEY King Queen

King George V and Queen Mary are honored.

In her honor, there is a sumptuous dinner.

In her honor, there is a sumptuous dinner.

Maggie Smith (left) delivers a brilliant performance as Lady Violet.

Maggie Smith (left) delivers a brilliant performance as Lady Violet.

The meanwhile well-married Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) does not miss the chance to travel with her husband Bertie. However, her new role as a lady of society is not quite what she imagined for her life.

Especially the short time is dedicated to Tom Branson, the widower of Lady Sybil. He develops feelings for the chambermaid of one of the guests. If he was one of the last characters of the series still under the hood, would be left for fans, almost nothing to be desired, right?

So many figures, so little time …

By the way, it's amazing that all the actors in the series actually returned for the movie. All are united under one roof again. But that slows down "Downton Abbey" movie as well. Fellowes wants to do justice to every character, all got a small storyline.

As a result, the story frayed partially and acts inharmonious. It's a shame to be happy about one scene and to land somewhere else the next. Particularly striking is the Butler Thomas, who experienced a little adventure far away from Downton. That would have been nice in the context of a season, in the film, I would have been able to do without it well.

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The film wants to do justice to all characters from "Downton Abbey".

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Carson (left) takes on the royal butler Mr. Wilson.

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Despite the abundance of characters but also new characters are introduced. While the royal couple plays a subordinate role, the tragic marriage of her daughter Princess Mary is a major topic. In addition, the focus is on the royal servants who take over the household.

Above all, the royal butler Mr. Wilson and the French chef of the lordships. They behave as if they themselves belonged to the nobility. The conflict of servants with the royal household is fun, but the new characters remain woodcut-like. Slightly deep are Lady Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton), the cousin of the Crawleys, and her maid Lucy (Tuppence Middleton). That's a shame, but there's no time for more. Despite these cuts, the movie is entertaining every minute.

Conclusion: as a visit to dear relatives

Was the "Downton Abbey" movie needed? No! Has he linked loose ends? Not really, because there were hardly any. Nevertheless, it is wonderful to dive back into the cultivated world of the five o'clock tea. The film feels like a visit to beloved relatives, where you can taste the British way of life. The relatives may not be perfect. And honestly, they do not know when it's time to put an end to it. But we love her. And a speedy reunion is not excluded .

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Another "Downton Abbey" movie could become a reality.

Release date

"Downton Abbey" will be released on cinemas on September 19th.

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