The long awaited Downton Abbey movie may add a new catch phrase to the English language: the Molesley Moment. Many of us have experienced a Molesley Moment, when we are so overtaken by emotion that our words or actions supersede all good sense, any restraint, thus leaving us with no shred of dignity.
Few of us, however, live those awkward moments with such impeccable comic timing as scene stealing Kevin Doyle while embodying the character of Mr. Molesley. As Joanne Froggatt’s Anna Bates exhorts Molesley , “Breathe”. We all must remember to breathe before the spectacle of splendour that is the Downton Abbey movie. What a gift!
From the first swells of the sublime theme music and the luscious images that fill the screen, Downton Abbey fans will jump headlong into a familiar world enhanced exponentially by the cinematic experience. The emotional excitement of Downton’s return is absolutely tear-inducing, but never fear, this is a joy filled Downton Abbey episode on steroids which will not disappoint.
I shall offer no spoilers, but be assured the Royal visit to Downton Abbey brings conflict, danger, deception, petty crime, suspense, a deadly plot, romance, arrests, plenty of Crawley family drama, new faces as well as beloved familiar faces splashed on to a screen so large we are able savour every detail and nuance of expression. This is a film Downton Abbey fans will want to see more than once.
Julian Fellowe’s story is perfection and the entire cast inhabits their familiar roles beautifully. These are the characters we’ve grown to love. They have evolved, but there is not one false note.
The scope is very grand. Images are breathtaking, stakes are high, laugh out loud moments abound, and some even seem like particular winks to Downton’s loyal fans. The upstairs world looks even more luxurious than on television.
The exquisite 1920’s costumes by Anna Robbins are, as Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary once put it, “yummy”! I shamelessly ogled the replica royal jewels and countless tiaras. It’s a feast for the eyes.
Even hard work below stairs or in the pelting rain has a romantic glow and there is a charm to the bustling, busy backstage of the stately home. Everyone associated with Downton has purpose, even us, the audience. Once swept in to the Crawley universe, we won’t want to leave. We’re a part of the magic.
Change of heart. I will offer one spoiler which will address a fear that made me hesitate to watch the film.
Although you should be sure to take your lacy handkerchief (or a more practical wad of Kleenex), no one dies. No one. Even everyone riding in a car arrives safely at their destination! There are sober, moving reflections in the light of revelations about the past, health and wealth, but your heart won’t be broken. Not yet. You will left with hope for the future of Downton Abbey.
The only complaint heard from those who’ve seen the film is that they wanted more of this particular character or that fabulous story line. A couple of hours return to Downton would never be long enough. We want to live there!
In a world filled with anxiety, the Downton Abbey movie proves a gloriously decadent escape. You find yourself safely back in a place where, for two hours, you can forget your troubles and trust that everything will turn out as it should
There is a peculiar feeling when the movie is over. A resplendent ball near the end of the film is the wave we ride back to the shore of reality, checking in with our favourite characters as we bid them adieu once again. We’ve waited so long, wished so hard for this film, then reveled in every enchanting second of the Downton Abbey movie, that there is a sense of loss when the end credits roll. We long for more. Much more.