Director Michael Engler’s movie “Downton Abbey” (2019) hit theaters this weekend with a bang. By raking in $31 million in its opening weekend, “Downton Abbey” topped Focus Features’ previous highest-grossing opening weekend, held by “Insidious: Chapter 3” (2015), which grossed $22 million.
“Downton Abbey” follows the Crawley family and their large cast of houseworkers as they prepare to welcome the King and Queen of England to their estate in 1927. Following Murphy’s law, everything that could go wrong, does.
The film flips back and forth between the members of the upstairs family and the downstairs workers as they deal with the mishaps happening in preparation for their guests, as well as fitting in a little revenge for those who wronged them.
The film “Downton Abbey” picks up right where the television show of the same name left off when the series concluded in 2015.
The visuals in “Downton Abbey” are cinematically engaging. The sweeping camera angles show off every part of the beautiful, real-life Highclere Castle that the film takes place in.
“Downton Abbey” plays out as if there was no time gap at all between the ending of the television series and the beginning of the movie. Its continuity is helpful to both long-time fans who remember everything and for first time viewers who know nothing of the back story.
Due to this film being a period piece, there is something to enjoy for everyone. Producer Julian Fellowes makes sure everything he produces is as accurate to the time period as possible.
Whether it’s cars, clothes, architecture or British culture, viewers can be reassured that everything they see on screen is as accurate to 1927 as it gets.
“Downton Abbey” doesn’t hold back on the sharp British humor that fans are used to. The iconic “best frenemy” relationship between Violet and Isobel Crawley, portrayed by Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton, respectively, is ever-present and makes for some of the best highlights of the movie.
Audible laughter and gasps could be heard from the audience during emotional moments. Despite all the nostalgia and comedy, “Downton Abbey” does manage to fit in some darker tones as well.
A brief side-story about an assassination attempt on the King of England cuts through the humor somewhat suddenly and builds tension rather quickly. Additionally, this film does not shy away from the underground life and the homophobia of the LGBT+ community during this time period.
Overall, this film did its television show predecessor more than justice. Through bringing back the familiar characters and introducing a few new ones, “Downton Abbey” just feels like getting the family back together again.
Final verdict: 10/10