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KPCW sends its most discerning moviegoers to the movies each week to let you know which films are worth going to and which are a pass. The Friday Film Review airs after the Noon News at 12:30 p.m. and during The Local View. KPCW Friday Film Reviewers are: Barb Bretz, Rick Brough, Mark Harrington and Linda Jager.

Friday Film Review - "Downton Abbey"


Downton Abbey is back, this time on the big screen.

To the relief of many fans, who have been suffering withdrawal for the last 3 years, Downton Abbey is back! This time, however, as a big screen production rather than a television series.

The film version of "Downton Abbey" takes place in 1927, with the Crawley household going about its day to day activities when suddenly their world is set abuzz with the arrival of a very special letter. The letter announces that the King and Queen will be coming to Downton Abbey for a two-night stay, as part of a royal tour of the country. This means getting the estate ready, planning a military parade in the village as well a grand ball. The household staff is excited to dive in until the royal staff arrives and basically takes over. As with any Downton event, it can’t just happen. Who is the mystery man following Tom Branson? Will Lady Mary be able to pull all the activities together, how will the household staff deal with the royal staff’s snub? So many wonderful side stories all coming together to create a fun watch.

To the delight of fans everywhere, not only is Downton Abbey back, if only for a brief moment, but it returns with the original cast, plus a few new characters. Nothing has been lost In the last three years. All give their beloved characters the same care and polish, and the sibling rivalries and family quarrels are as lively as ever.

Not only did the cast return in toto for the film, but Michael Engler, who directed the TV series, and of course the series creator and screenwriter for the film, Sir Julian Fellowes, both returned to provide the glue to put it all together in the finest way.

For the most part, Downton Abbey, the film, is historically accurate, although not surprisingly, there are a few liberties taken with how such a visit would have unfolded, but nothing shocking enough to take away from the film.

What is wonderful about this film is that devotées of the tv show will be satisfied and viewers new to the story will also enjoy it, as it is a standalone story requiring no previous knowledge. The one downside perhaps, is that in order to create a quick but complete picture of all the various relationships, some things are pushed a bit too hard.

As one would expect, the soundtrack is the one fans have come to know and love, and the cinematography is absolutely splendid.

Downton Abbey is a good, satisfying watch tying up many loose ends from the series, while creating enough new loose ends to provide hope for die-hard fans that another film or season of the TV series could happen. We’ll just have to wait and see.

"Downton Abbey" is an enjoyable, polished production that is rated PG for thematic elements, some suggestive material and language and is a well-paced 2 hours and 2 minutes in length.

One of the Friday Film Review, reviewers.
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