Saturday, October 5, 2019

Downton Abbey [2019]

MPAA (PG)  CNS/USCCB (A-III) (3 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (B-)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Los Angeles Times (K. Turan) review (M. Zoller-Seitz) review
AVClub (C. Steele) review

Downton Abbey [2019] (directed by Michael Engler characters and screenplay by Julian Fellowes) delivers what it promises ... a two hour visit to a place that millions of viewers across the English speaking world and beyond had come to know and love through the successful television series about "more tranquil times" ... when it was being debated and starting to be settled as to whether paupers, people of darker complexions and foreign tongues, women as a whole, to say nothing of then invisible people like homosexuals were ... worthy of rights.

And so it is here.  And all is regally blessed and proven "fine" at the Abbey as they receive word that the King and Queen were planning a visit to their part of the Realm, were inviting themselves over to the Abbey (I guess, if you're the King, you can do whatever you want, AND "what an honor it would be" in any case), and ... (mild spoiler alert) all turns out well.

But, then, how could it not...?  Directed by the steady guiding hand of the _wisest_ of local patriarchs, Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (played by Hugh Bonneville) albeit with an American wife Cora (played by Elizabeth McGovern) but then with a stable, well-trained, LOYAL abbey staff, what could possibly go wrong?

Yes, there are the pesky Irish who want to get a shot at the King (played by Simon Jones).  But even the King "understands" (and arguably _forgives them_).  So ...

There is a loveliness to all this ... and in the crassness of our time it is certainly appealing, just as long as we realize that when we enter stories like this, we enter a world essentially of "Platonic Forms" about as real as that of Middle Earth / The Hobbit.  That said, we all need stories that give us comfort and peace. 

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