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Old 06-26-2022, 11:33 AM
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TrueFaith77 TrueFaith77 is offline
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Another one I forgot to post…

35.Downton Abbey: A New Era (Simon Curtis); grade: F

Downton Abbey is anti-cinema. The latest installment in the franchise is directed by the abominable Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn, The Woman in Gold), but Julian Fellowes is the real show-runner here. Fellowes learned nothing from working with master auteur Robert Altman on the surprise hit Godford Park that made Downton Abbey possible—and unacceptable. As in Gosford Park, the invasion into an Upstairs-Downstairs world by movie celebrities rings Fellowes’ bells. In Gosford, Altman explored the sources of devastating fantasy while Fellowes now indulges it (but without offending his audience of aristocracy queens). A filmmaker cites Abel Gance’s titanic (now hard-to-find) Napoleon as the impetus for filming a silent movie on location at Downton abbey. Then, Fellowes ripping off Singin’ in the Rain, the filmmaker ludicrously makes the transition to sound without filming in a studio. Like the MCU, the Downton Abbey franchise is television that makes no room for artists or narrative fulfillment. There’s not an expressive edit or shot in the film (two characters exclaim over a French Riviera beach view, and Curtis cuts to a reverse shot in which the actors’ heads are in focus but the view is not). Like serialized TV, it’s all anti-climaxes (Will Mary cheat on her husband? Does Cora have cancer? Is Robert illegitimate? Will Thomas get laid? No, no, no, and who knows?). It completes the transformation from movie fantasy to TV’s total commodification.
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