The 'Downton Abbey' movie is the horniest PG-rated film ever – Periódico Página100 – Noticias de popayán y el Cauca

The ‘Downton Abbey’ movie is the horniest PG-rated film ever

As we close out the decade, only one beloved TV show of the 2010s has achieved the elusive, hallowed achievement of #SixSeasonsAndAMovie: Downton Abbey.

From creator Julian Fellowes (who wrote nearly every Downton episode), the film is a thin excuse to reunite us with the likes of Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes (Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan), to delight in the mutual bullying of sisters Mary and Edith (Michelle Dockery and Laura Carmichael), and to cackle at the merciless roasts of the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith).

The entire premise was revealed in the trailer: The King and Queen of England are coming to Downton, and both upstairs and downstairs must curb their giddy patriotism long enough to uphold the social ceremony by which they live. It’s essentially an episode of Downton and plays out as such.

I almost respect Fellowes’ flagrant disinterest in making this an actual movie. It’s structured and paced like a television episode, with short scenes that cut off without warning (but not without a dramatic string crescendo) and starts to feel long after about an hour, the standard run-time of any Downton episode. 

Film essentials like stakes and motivation might as well not exist; there’s no real reason for the royals visiting Downton (it’s their “Yorkshire tour”) and therefore no conflict when they actually do  — except some bristling on Tom Branson’s (Allen Leech) part, which leads to the film’s most 0-to-100 subplot. Once again, there’s needless talk of whether to keep Downton and continue living as aristocrats of a bygone era, and once again the discussion is tabled for the future Granthams to deal with.

Lady Edith arrives ready to flex and fight.
Lady Edith arrives ready to flex and fight.

The royal visit’s real conflict is that the King and Queen travel with their own cook, maids, and footmen, which quickly leaves the zealous Downton staff feeling redundant and rejected. It’s so hurtful that they opt to remedy it with what one might call skullduggery but could also be called “light treason.” By the film’s end our favorite servants have waited on the King and Queen as well as escaped any consequences for how they came to receive that honor.

Comforting as it is to see all our faves in their element, the film adds a lot of new players to an already packed ensemble. The most notable newcomer is Imelda Staunton as Lady Bagshaw, a Grantham relative, which sets up some fabulous Umbridge-vs-McGonagall sparring between her and Smith. Sense8‘s Tuppence Middleton plays Bagshaw’s mysterious maid, who floats in like a Jazz Age Manic Pixie Dream Girl and right onto the path of Branson’s B.D.E.

It must be noted that while Downton Abbey has a PG rating, this movie is extremely horny. Any characters who didn’t end up married by series’ end (and to be fair, there are scant few) find themselves with one if not two potential fuck buddies love interests. 

There is a look between two characters in the final scenes that made multiple people in my screening gasp with impunity. In one scene involving a boiler, I expected the present characters to engage in what I call the Full Gendry (pausing necessary work, often in war-time, to get down and dirty). Daisy remains obviously thirsty and Edith a thinly-veiled freak! After six seasons in the closet, even Thomas Barrow gets closer than ever to a relationship.

Gotta catcha  glimpse of those royals!
Gotta catcha  glimpse of those royals!

Even in the throes of guiltless enjoyment, I couldn’t help asking myself: What’s the point? Why does this exist? Is stuff happening? Does anything ever really end in an age of endless reboots, sequels, and the rapidly dissolving arbitrary distinction between television and film as upended by the streaming model of subscription and distribution?

I was able to answer these questions for myself, as are you, but for two glorious hours of this inane and delightful movie, I didn’t want to. It didn’t matter! Downton Abbey exists only to put a smile on your face, to let Jim Carter bluster with gusto and to adorn Michelle Dockery in period formalwear as she was undoubtedly put on this earth to do. It’s a nostalgia trip, not for the 20th century, but for the sweet, simpler time of 2015. I’ll receive that, and any gratuitous sequels, like a royal visit.

But let’s spring for an R rating next time.

Downton Abbey hits theaters Sept. 20.

Popayán Colombia

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