Downton Abbey

They've returned at last! When Julian Fellowes wrote his miniseries Downton Abbey, it was to be a single season with a self-contained story. As the episodes unfolded and the public responded, he knew he had a winner. Six seasons later, they reluctantly closed the door on Highclere Castle and we bid them a fond farewell. Why did this series last so long?
  • The stories were involving, sometimes funny and always fascinating;
  • The costumes were to die for;
  • The characters were consistent and relatable;
  • The romances, old and new were upbeat and satisfying.
  • The "above stairs" and "below stairs" relationships were solid, interesting and tradition bound;
  • The history of the era was brought to life;
  • The individuals were people we could root for!
So now the movie... 
They are all back, stunned by a pending visit from royalty! To the staff's dismay, this means they are confronted (and usurped) by a visiting palace staff!

I watched:
  • Michelle Dockery: Remember when the women rallied to help Lady Mary Talbot hide that pesky corpse? She is still cool, calm and collected; expected (doomed?) to inherit the place some day. She realizes that Downton is the beating heart of the community.
  • Hugh Bonneville: Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham is trying to adjust to an ever-changing world. It will be tight, but he will find the funds to host the king and queen properly.
  • Elizabeth McGovern: People seem to have forgiven Cora Crawley for being American. She understands that if she wants something done, ask the queen, not the king. The rain cleared up in time for the parade, proving that God is a Monarchist.
  • Maggie Smith: Violet Crawley may be the Earl's meddling aunt, but her acid wit has been a touchstone for many of the women in her world. Now she's in a swivet because a sister is one of the queen's ladies in waiting and an inheritance is at stake! She says Machiavelli is underrated.
  • Laura Carmichael: Lady Edith is far, far too "modern" for Violet's taste! Remember when she hid her baby at the neighbor's? Now she is frustrated by inaction. 
  • Jim Carter: Mr. Carson comes right back where he belongs, ruling the staff from the head of the table below stairs. Retirement does not suit...nor does the king's personal butler.
  • Leslie Nicol: Mrs. Patmore still rules the kitchen! (With Daisy helping as fast as she can.) Who is this imperious Frenchman brought to cook for the king and queen?
  • Brandon Coyle: Mr. Bates and his wife Anna are not ones to stand aside, helplessly wringing their hands. Watch when they swing into action!
  • Robert James-Collier: Thomas Barrow is consistent, but two major events are disconcerting, the first one when he is temporarily replaced by Carson, and the other involves the police. (Spoiler, sorry.)
This is a vastly oversimplified list: the host of familiar faces guarantees our enjoyment and satisfaction. Question: Has Julian Fellowes ever written anything with a less-then-happy ending?

Full disclosure, I watched this series courtesy of boxed sets I borrowed from the library. I'm too impatient to watch week after week. This movie is perfect closure.
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Take a look at this trailer:
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