DOWNTON ABBEY – Review by Susan Granger

If you’re an avid fan of PBS’ dramatic series Downton Abbey, you’ll relish this big-screen version. Working with screenwriter James Fellowes, director Michael Engler manages to give all the characters their own mini-crisis and catharsis, involving proper manners and utmost civility, drawing on the trials and tribulations of England’s inherent class system, which exists despite anti-monarchist grumbles.

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DOWNTON ABBEY – Review by Leslie Combemale

You don’t really know the fans of Downton Abbey until you sit in a darkened theater as the first strains of the theme song start playing, to a bust of applause, and even a few gasps. Thus begins the feature film that feels like its only raison d’etre is to tie all the storylines and character arcs into big, flouncy bows, of the kind one sees on the back of a bejeweled 20s-era frock.

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Hollywood Ageism Denies Actresses Their ‘Prime,’ plus Phosphate Award for Female Characters, and Davis Honored with Ali Award – Brandy McDonnell comments

At age 38, actresses Liv Tyler and Maggie Gyllenhaal are told by Hollywood they’re too old to be cast opposite leading men in their 50s. Read what they and others say about that. Plus, the Phosphate Pictures Award pitches $25,000 prize to a script with a strong female lead and the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards honor Geena Davis for activism. Read The Week in Women>>

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