It’s fitting that, on the day I saw the Downton Abbey movie, I also saw a tweet
resurfacing Roger Ebert’s review
of the 1999 Brendan Fraser film The Mummy. Ebert writes:
There is hardly a thing I can say in its favor, except that I was cheered by nearly every minute of it. I cannot argue for the script, the direction, the acting or even the mummy, but I can say that I was not bored and sometimes I was unreasonably pleased. There is a little immaturity stuck away in the crannies of even the most judicious of us, and we should treasure it.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say the Downton movie is devoid of things to praise, but I walked out of the theater with a peculiar sense of “I both enjoyed that and never need to see it again.” It is a visually gorgeous experience, in which talented actors speak in hushed tones about ridiculous things. One subplot in particular was so silly as to exceed even the soapiest storylines from the TV show — and yet, I couldn’t help but smile at Mr. Molesley, root for Tom Branson, and wish Daisy would get a spinoff. Good enough for me!