You are cordially invited to return to Downton Abbey! The most anticipated movie spinoff opens in theaters everywhere today (September 20, 2019). But did the movie live up to the hype? Was it kid-friendly? I answer all your burning questions in this spoiler free Downton Abbey review.
I was the invited guest of Angie of This is the Motherhood to attend an advance media screening. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
Downton Abbey Review
Sooo… I haven’t been sitting on pins and needles waiting for the movie. Not because I didn’t like the show, but because I had never watched it! But with the film coming out everyone I know was talking about it. And quite honestly, I felt an incredible amount of FOMO.
So, I spent the last week watching every single episode! It literally consumed every waking hour and I made it through with just about 12 hours before my advanced screening. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I loved it as much as everyone said I would.
I had no doubts that the movie would be outstanding. But I was not prepared to laugh and cry as much as I did. And when the credits started rolling – I wasn’t ready for this amazing journey to be over. I’m still not and may drag my husband to see it again this weekend!
Is Downton Abbey kid-friendly?
Let’s just get this out of the way. There are a few minor things that may be of concern for some, but overall the movie is quite family-friendly. But that doesn’t mean you should run out and grab tickets for the whole family.
My kids would have been bored. But that’s because of the lack of high-speed action, superheroes and the simple fact that they aren’t interested in historical dramas.
Is there swearing?
No in the American sense of cursies. There are a few “bloody” bombs dropped here and there.
Are there sensitive scenes?
There is a part of the film that features Mr. Barrow and his sexuality. Fans of the show know that Thomas Barrow is a gay man and have seen the judgment against him that speaks of the time.
In this scene, that prejudice comes to the forefront with the reference of “dirty perverts” and one character saying “I’d rather be dead than one of them.”
There is a scene that talks about the possible death of a beloved character. And of course, the mention of Lady Sybil passing. But both are quite fleeting and will more than likely go over the young kids’ heads.
Did the movie match the wit of the show?
In my opinion, it was better. I love the one-line zingers spouted by the Dowager. But I feel some of them would have fallen flat without Isobel Crawley. Their witty banter made the movie. They had the entire audience laughing for two hours.
My favorite came towards the end of the movie:
Isobel – “After all these years you still astonish me”
Violet – “I’m glad I’m a revelation and not a disappointment”
As if, the Dowager could ever be a disappointment to anyone but possibly those she’s scheming against.
Do you need to have watched all 6 seasons before seeing the movie?
No, the film is simple enough to follow along without having seen the show. Do keep in mind there isn’t any real character build up in the movie since it was made for fans of the show. So, you won’t be as invested in the characters. But the movie can stand on its own and do it well.
I do recommend that if you plan on watching the movie without having seen all 6 seasons – watch the recap below!
But really just go binge the show. It’s 6 glorious seasons of drama, quick wit and sarcasm. And each season ends with a Christmas episode! Seriously, pure brilliant sorcery.
My overall Downton Abbey Review
I’m new to this world but I believe the film was outstanding. There were probably little things that could have been done differently… like bring Lady Rose back. But I get why it didn’t fit and you will too if you’ve watched the show. And if you haven’t – well, you won’t know she’s missing!
We got an update on everyone’s storyline. Saw how the kids have grown. Learned how Tom Branson has adapted to his life at the Abbey. Watched the staff stand up for themselves. And even got to see Carson loosen up just a wee bit.
But it was Mr. Moseley who stood out and outshined the rest of the Abbey staff. He was an adorable doof and won the audience over almost immediately.
And it might just be wishful thinking, but the film left the door open for more. And WIDE open for a possible spinoff.