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Date TimeSeptember 09, 2019
VoiceImelda Staunton joins Maggie Smith and co in this standalone film that feels like an intensely glucose Christmas special
Downton Abbey review – ridiculous, vanilla-flavoured fun | peter bradshaws film of the week
There are some films that you really have to see on the big screen. Not this one, though. To get the full, authentic experience, you’ll need to see it on the small screen, on 27 December, with quart of eggnog inside you and enough Quality Street to trigger a diabetic coma. It is at all times ridiculous – but, I have to admit, quite enjoyable.
This standalone movie special is based on the smash-hit telenovela of picturesque Brit poshness, Downton Abbey – all about the interwar aristos with problems that go well beyond as anything as déclassé as “first world” – and this film is like the most intensely glucose and sometimes baffling Christmas special. It is structured like any TV episode around a set of concurrent subplots, delivered in a series of little bite-size scenes, played in and out with strident little orchestral stings on the soundtrack. Every so often you can feel the rhythmic thud of where the ad break would normally go – where it will go, in fact, when this goes to TV.

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