2019 ( UK | USA ) ( Drama, Romance )
DIRECTOR: Michael Engler
STARRING: Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, Matthew Goode
If you loved “Downton Abbey” on the telly then you are going to love this film. It’s 1927 and the Earl and Countess of Grantham are enjoying a welcome break when the postman delivers a bombshell. King George and Queen Mary have been forced by irksome duty to visit rain-sodden Yorkshire, and will grace the Crawleys by stopping at Downton for a night. This news unleashes pandemonium in the servants’ quarters. However the Downton crew are dealt a heavy blow when it emerges that the King and Queen will arrive with their own personal set of underlings. Mrs. Patmore will be usurped in her own kitchen by a snooty continental with a waxed moustache and one of those floppy chef hats (bloody French), Mrs. Hughes locks horns with a teutonic-looking female who acts as royal housekeeper (bloody Germans), while Mr. Carson is about to be out-butlered by a palace flunkie who styles himself ‘the master of the backstairs’. There seems to be trouble brewing?
Writer Julian Fellowes does a fine job of keeping all of the various balls in the air, balancing pathos and intrigue with splashes of repartee. Maggie Smith’s comic timing is superb, and she knocks every joke that’s pitched up to her out of the park, Allen Leech handles a bigger workload than usual with breezy charm and David Haig is wonderfully odious as the ‘backstairs’ man.