Generally we found the film watchable. This was a feel-good film with no bad actor or character. Not everyone had seen the television series or the previous film. Because of the range of underlying stories that were based on previous events it did not stand alone well. For others who had seen the earlier film, this was thought to be superior.
The main actors are Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Maggie Smith (Dowager Violet Grantham), Hugh Bonneville (Robert Grantham) and Elizabeth McGovern (Cora Grantham). As the Dowager, Maggie Smith, was a real presence, although her physical appearances were not as frequent as in previous shows. It was her story that dominated some of the scenes even though she was not present. One of her classic and true to character statements was “do I look like someone who would turn down a Villa in France?”
The more minor characters were all important to the story as it unfolded. The actors maintained their characters well, with appropriate growth in maturity. The film did provide some tidying up of stories for some of the characters.
The cinematography at the start seemed to be over the top, with a wedding that did not mean much for anyone who was not familiar with the background to the characters. There were a couple of scenes that were not quite as expected. For example, while on a motorboat, there was no indication of wind, with hats not moving and hair not blowing as would be expected. In discussing the soundtrack we decided it was fitting, with no intrusion and not particularly notable.