Posted tagged ‘Downton Abbey’

Downton Abbey

September 25, 2019

Downton AbbeyLast night we went to see the movie “Downton Abbey“. Tuesday is a good night to go to the movies around here. Regal Cinema has $5 tickets for everyone on Tuesday night. The ticket taker wanted to see inside Paula’s purse looking for contraband. They didn’t see the bulge in my pocket that had a bottle of spring water.

Still not very crowded even at those prices. So this is the continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside.

So we have been waiting to see this for a long time once we heard it was being developed. If you followed the series that was broadcast on PBS from 2010-2015, you will love the movie. If you didn’t follow the series you might still enjoy but maybe not.

All the characters on the TV series made it into the movie. I read somewhere that producer Julian Fellowes struggled to get all of cast together for the shoot because of many conflicting schedules of cast mates.

So the story line is that the King and Queen are coming for a visit to Downton. First everyone had to get the joint scrubbed clean, then the royal maids, cooks and butlers arrive to take over the operation for the visit. The regular Downton crew are none to happy to pushed aside for their day in the glory of the visit. Much trickery is planned to take back the staff’s operation of Downton.

Downgon Abbey mansion

So the movie ends after all the royals go home. The movie closes with a long shot of the mansion in the darkening skies. The Crawleys and their staff live happy ever after. So I was wondering, how did they light the castle (remember this is circa 1927) with out any flood lights showing?

So, one of my problems that I had was understanding all of the dialog. I have hearing problems and I wear hearing aids. The hearing aids didn’t seem to help, perhaps even made it worse. The dialog often sounded muddled. British accents didn’t help any in that regard. I have a hearing test scheduled in October

I hear that the Downton Abbey mansion has become quite a tourist draw for Brits and Americans. They apparently do tours. If you were a fan of the PBS series, go see the movie. You’ll enjoy it.

After the movie, we had dinner at a Mexican restaurant in San Pedro. Taxco still hasn’t managed to get their liquor license back after they moved a few months ago. No matter, the food was excellent.

 

Downton Abbey

March 10, 2016

 Last night we wrapped up watching the last episode of season six of Downton Abbey. It was a two hour affair. We typically haven’t been able to watch episodes on Sundays when it is broadcast. We depend on our DVR to catch up on our schedule. So we watched the first hour on Tuesday night after the family went home from our Tuesday night dinner.

We turned on the TV after the family left around 8pm. Mary likes to watch the news, so we started with the local and national news. I switched to Downton as soon as the news was done. Mary was sitting on the couch in her usual spot. After about 15 minutes, Mary says “Hey, this isn’t the news?”. With Mary, we could watch the news over and over again and it  would still be new to her. So we gently explained, that this was Downton Abbey. She watched about another 5 minutes and then went to bed.

So last night was spent closing up loose ends. Mr. Carson is allowed to retire and live out his life in comfort of a cottage on the estate. Edith got married off. Mr Barrow takes over as butler. Everyone lives happily ever after. We had none of the season ending downers like the end of season three when heart-throb Matthew dies in a car crash. Or the season three downer when daughter Sybil dies. So as ending episodes go, it was pretty satisfying. There was none of the trying to understand the episode.

So the story starts in the early part of the 20th century with the news of the death of one of the male heirs had died on the Titanic. So what are the Crawleys to do? They are concerned about the lack of a male heir. In season one, we are introduced to the concept called “entail” that relates to how property is transferred after a person’s death.

The story continues through WWI and then on to the post war 1920’s. Times they are a changing.

One of the things that I found very enjoyable was watching Maggie Smith play Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. Also, excellent performance by Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham)

Downton Abbey is often compared to the PBS series “Upstairs/Downstairs”. Although, when that series was airing I had other things to do. I only caught a couple of episodes and we certainly didn’t have the luxury of a DVR. So you haven’t watched Downton Abbey? Well it’s not too late. All 52 episodes are available to stream on Amazon Prime Instant Video or DVD from Amazon. Seems like it’s a good opportunity for some binge watching. You can also get the DVD’s from Netflix.

There is also a documentary film on Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey was filmed.