Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Downton Abbey

posted by Nell Minow

I love the new Masterpiece Theatre series, “Downton Abbey.” It’s a gripping story of fascinating characters and an enthralling depiction of a society undergoing seismic changes.

English society flourished for centuries based on a system that kept property from being dispersed through “entailment” — land was transferred to the oldest male heir. And anyone who’s ever read a Jane Austen book knows that while that system was great for keeping property in the same family for generations, it was tough on families. In this story, Hugh Bonneville (“Notting Hill”) plays the Earl of the title estate in pre-WWI England. Like many nobility of his generation, he married an American heiress to get the cash he needed to run the estate. But unlike most of them, he fell in love with his wife, played by the ravishing Elizabeth McGovern (“Ordinary People”).

Advertisement

And then they had three daughters. Which meant the property would go to the nearest male relative, a cousin. As was often the practice in these families, a marriage was arranged with the earl’s daughter. All seemed resolved. And then, as this show begins, the earl receives some very bad news. The heir and his father were on the Titanic. And that means that the estate will go to a distant relative they scarcely know who seems, to use the language of the era, unsuitable and disobliging. He arrives, filled with modern ideas and bourgeois habits — and bringing his mother.

And in the tradition of “Upstairs, Downstairs,” there is a whole other set of stories going on among the staff, including the arrival of a new valet for the earl and a footman who wanted that job for himself.

Advertisement

The show has already been a big hit in the UK and I am delighted to hear that there is a second season. In tonight’s episode, there is romantic intrigue for Lady Mary, the oldest daughter, and the arrival of a stranger. I’ll be there!

Downton AbbeyDownton Abbey TV Schedule
Previous Posts

Grandma
Lily Tomlin is cranky, feisty, tough, and utterly irresistible in this story of a grandmother who has to visit past decisions about her own life in order ...

posted 5:50:55pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

We Are Your Friends
Director Max Joseph brings some of the "Catfish" sensibility to "We Are Your Friends," with an intimate, documentary feel and a storyline ...

posted 5:35:22pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Being Evel
Evel Knievel was an international celebrity in the 1960's-70's, known for three things: showmanship, stunts that succeeded, and stunts that failed. He was recognized for jumping over 19 cars in his motorcycle, for crash-landing after trying to ...

posted 5:13:51pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Rosenwald
Aviva Kempner, the director of the acclaimed documentaries about baseball star Hank Greenberg and television pioneer Gertrude Berg, has a new film about early 20th century Chicago businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. Like the prior ...

posted 12:10:06pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Possibly the Greatest Pairing Since Lennon and McCartney: Lawrence and Shumer
Jennifer Lawrence told the New York Times that she and Amy Schumer are writing a screenplay together! It's about two sisters, to be played by Lawrence and Schumer themselves. “Amy and I were creatively made for each other. We have ...

posted 10:49:12pm Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.