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Has Dame Maggie Smith Signed On For A 'Downton Abbey' Film?


Maggie Smith Julian Fellowes Michelle Dockery Laura Carmichael Hugh Bonneville

Dame Maggie Smith has reportedly signed on to take part in the heavily rumoured ‘Downton Abbey’ film. While a movie version of the series has not yet been confirmed, Smith’s fellow cast member Michael Fox has said that the veteran actress will be taking part in a big screen adaptation.

Downton AbbeyIs ‘Downton Abbey’ the movie, really happening?

Speaking to MailOnline Fox, who played Andy Parker, said that Smith’s involvement was crucial to the film. “She elevates it to something else, because she is such a legend and a national treasure,” he said.

Continue reading: Has Dame Maggie Smith Signed On For A 'Downton Abbey' Film?

Julian Fellowes Says He'll "Certainly" Write Film Version Of 'Downton Abbey' If Asked


Julian Fellowes

A ‘Downton Abbey’ movie is potentially back on, with the show’s creator Julian Fellowes revealing in a new interview that he would “certainly” write a film version of the period drama.

After six seasons and 51 episodes with more than a decade passing on screen, the massively successful ITV drama came to an end with the cast singing Auld Lang Syne as the snow fell outside Downton in a special episode aired on Christmas Day last year.

Julian Fellowes'Downton Abbey' writer Julian Fellowes with one of the show's stars Laura Carmichael at the 2016 NTAs

Continue reading: Julian Fellowes Says He'll "Certainly" Write Film Version Of 'Downton Abbey' If Asked

Julian Fellowes - European Premiere of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies held at the Vue West End - Arrivals. - London, United Kingdom - Monday 1st February 2016

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes - Opening night party for Broadway musical School of Rock at the Hard Rock Cafe - Arrivals. at Hard Rock Cafe, - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 7th December 2015

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes, Sierra Boggess, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alex Brightman , Cast - Opening night for Broadway musical School of Rock at the Winter Garden Theatre - Curtain Call. at Winter Garden Theatre, - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 7th December 2015

Julian Fellowes, Sierra Boggess, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alex Brightman and Cast
Glen Slater, Hugh Bonneville, Julian Fellowes, Sierra Boggess, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alex Brightman and Cast
Glen Slater, Hugh Bonneville, Julian Fellowes, Sierra Boggess, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alex Brightman and Cast

Julian Fellowes - Opening night for Broadway musical School of Rock at the Winter Garden Theatre - Arrivals. at Winter Garden Theatre, - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 7th December 2015

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes - 43rd International Emmy Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals at Emmy Awards - New York, New York, United States - Tuesday 24th November 2015

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes and Elizabeth Mcgovern

Lord Julian Fellowes - BFI LUMINOUS Gala dinner held at Guildhall - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 6th October 2015

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes and Lady Fellowes

Lord Julian Fellowes , Lady Fellowes - The British Film Institute's LUMINOUS gala dinner held at Guildhall - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 6th October 2015

Julian Fellowes and Lady Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes and Lady Fellowes
Julian Fellowes and Lady Fellowes
Julian Fellowes and Lady Fellowes

Julian Fellowes - Julian Fellowes outside ITV Studios - London, United Kingdom - Friday 2nd October 2015

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes , Emma Joy Kitchener - BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea 2015 at the SLS Hotel - Arrivals at SLS Hotel - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Saturday 19th September 2015

Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener
Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener
Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener

Julian Fellowes , Emma Joy Kitchener - 'Downton Abbey' wrap party at The Ivy - Arrivals at The Ivy - London, United Kingdom - Saturday 15th August 2015

Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener
Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener
Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener
Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener
Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener

Julian Fellowes - BAFTA tribute to Downton Abbey at the Richmond Theatre - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 11th August 2015

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener

Julian Fellowes - BAFTA Tribute: Downton Abbey held at the Richmond Theatre - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 11th August 2015

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes and Guests
Julian Fellowes

Penelope Wilton and Julian Fellowes - Downton Abbey gala dinner for Special Olympics GB held at the Landmark Hotel. - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 24th June 2015

Penelope Wilton and Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes - An Afternoon with 'Downton Abbey' at the Writers Guild Theater - Arrivals at Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 6th June 2015

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes
Gareth Neame, Elizabeth Mcgovern, Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael and Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener - Sir Donald Sinden - A Celebration at the Wyndham's Theatre - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 19th May 2015

Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener
Julian Fellowes and Emma Joy Kitchener

Not So Fast! Your Favorite "Downton" Characters Are Never Safe, Says Creator Julian Fellowes


Julian Fellowes Lesley Nicol

Downton Abbey fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as the show’s creators have announced that there will be no major character deaths to boost ratings in season 5. Downton viewers cringed at the shocking death of Matthew Crowley in the 2012 Christmas episode. Then the writers took away Lady Sybill with Ye Olde screenwriting cliché – death during childbirth.

Julian Fellowes
Julian Fellowes says fans shouldn't get too comfortable yet.

Now there’s inside info that if the Season 5 cast should change, it won’t be because someone has decided to kick the bucket in the name of ratings. So says Lesley Nicol, who plays cook Mrs Patmore, says NO big characters will die in the next series.

Continue reading: Not So Fast! Your Favorite "Downton" Characters Are Never Safe, Says Creator Julian Fellowes

Richard E. Grant Is A Historian On Downton, And Has His Own Perfume


Richard E. Grant Julian Fellowes

Not only is he to star in a nation’s favorite period drama, but Richard E. Grant will have everyone smelling just how he wants them, too.News that Grant was cast in Downton Abbey came earlier on this month on Valentines Day, but now we know who he’ll be playing in ITV’s hit drama. Grant will play Simon Bricker, who visits Downton as a guest of the Granthams.

Richard E GrantRichard E. Grant will turn up to the Downton set smelling of his own product, we predict

It’s been a long road for the British actor, who has been vying for a spot on Julian Fellowes’ popular show. Asked in 2012 why he had not been written in to the show yet, Grant replied: “I have no idea. I know Julian, but I was never asked. I’ve never been up for it. Maybe next series,” according to The Telegraph.

But he’s in now, and will be playing the historian Bricker.

“When you’re born with a 10ft-long face, you don’t get hero roles. But I’m not complaining as I have hugely enjoyed the wide variety of parts I’ve got to play,” Grant has said. “I would love to play your common, everyday guy, but I never get cast as that. It would be fun to play a chav and chav it up, but I can’t see it ever happening.”

But that’s not all for Grant fans, as the headline explicitly suggests: he’s launched his own perfume. "I've obsessively smelt everything all my life,” the 56-year-old actor said.

"Anya Hindmarch, the handbag designer, saw me with my head in a gardenia bush in the Caribbean two years ago, and she said, 'Are you going to do something about that?' And I said, 'What psychiatrically?' and she said, 'No, make a perfume'. So I have done."

Perfumes are usually launched by pop stars, and glamorous Hollywood actors – maybe the odd sports personality. So Grant’s new smell comes as a surprise. "It's self-financed, self-made, everything, it's been my passion for two years, it's a big gamble,” he explained.

"There are 1,100 perfumes released every year, so it's like an old guy releasing a record and hoping people are going to buy it. But it's really good."

Continue reading: Richard E. Grant Is A Historian On Downton, And Has His Own Perfume

Downton's Back, Alright! Downton Abbey Returns To US Screens


Julian Fellowes Lily James Hugh Bonneville

Downton Abbey will return to PBS for a fourth season this Sunday, 5 January, and anticipation for the quintessentially English period drama couldn't be higher in the United States. The early 20th century-set story of British aristocracy couldn't be further from the days spent by the modern Americans who will sit down in their droves to check out the new season, but can the escapist piece move America once again?

Downton Abbey
The big bad boys of Downton will be back

The Americanisation of the show, it's preoccupation with popular culture intertwined with the prevalent and glaring theme of British social history, is what has made it such a success on both sides of the Atlantic, and this American distinction will only increase in season four. In particular, one of the integral story lines of the season involves the Earl of Downton's niece and her courting of an African-American man, one that obviously hold higher implications not just because he is American.

Continue reading: Downton's Back, Alright! Downton Abbey Returns To US Screens

'Downton Abbey' Recap: Season Four, Episode Six


Julian Fellowes Hugh Bonneville Laura Carmichael Lily James Michelle Dockery

Downton Abbey is moving through the years with gusto, and already we're seeing some of the effects of time play havoc with the lives of some of the landed gentry trying to keep up with the break neck pace of the Roarin' Twenties. In the latest episode there were taboos of yesteryear broken at every turn. We look back at episode six of the current (fourth) season and try and keep up with the changing face of the 20th century along with the cast. The rest of this article contains spoilers.

Downton Abbey
I say sir!

One thing that did become clear early on in the episode was that, with the season hitting the half way mark, plot devices were being shoved in here there and everywhere to gear up the season for its final episode, which will air around Christmas time. The first little glimpse of the season closer came when the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) received a letter from Uncle Harold in America, stating that he had gotten himself into “a proper fix” over oil leases. The letter will make Paul Giamatti's entrance into the series at Christmas just that little less surprising now, but chances are you've already heard about his special guest spot by now anyway.

Continue reading: 'Downton Abbey' Recap: Season Four, Episode Six

Julian Fellowes - Romeo And Juliet Video Interview


Video Interview with Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes talks about his feelings on his re-creation of Shakespeare's much-loved tale 'Romeo and Juliet' in a video interview following the premiere.

Continue reading: Julian Fellowes - Romeo And Juliet Video Interview

Is Julian Fellowes Really Pondering A Role For P Diddy In Downton?


Sean Combs Julian Fellowes

When the news broke that P-Diddy was going to appear in Downton Abbey, only for it to be revealed as a joke, fans of the series will have breathed a sigh of relief: this is their serious period drama, and they don’t want a popular rapper in there messing about!

Sean Combs P DiddyCan you imagine this guy in Downton? We want to see it

But consider this: would P-Diddy be a welcome addition to the Downton scene? This is what the popular show’s creator, Julian Fellowes is currently mulling over in his writer head. “I’d never says never, though I imagine he’d steal the scene, even if it was a small part,” Lord Fellowes said at the Life After Stroke Awards, at the Dorchester hotel in Mayfair, according to the Telegraph.

Continue reading: Is Julian Fellowes Really Pondering A Role For P Diddy In Downton?

Downton Abbey Will Return To PBS In January 2014


Hugh Bonneville Maggie Smith Julian Fellowes

After the surprise ending of series three, many were left wondering whether or not the hugely successful period drama Downton Abbey would be come back at all, but there's good news to all you Downton fans out there because a fourth series is imminent, and it will be back on PBS on 5 January 2014.

Downton executive producer Rebecca Eaton revealed the good news today in an official statement, revealing the airing date of the new series and adding that it will run for eight weeks. She also added the most of the show's original cast will be back too, including Shirley MacLaine, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle, adding that there will be a number of new actors joining the established cast too.

Downton Abbey
Hugh Bonneville, Sophie McShera, Phyllis Logan, Julian Fellowes, Lily James and co. of the established Downton order

Continue reading: Downton Abbey Will Return To PBS In January 2014

BAFTA Rightly Snubs Downton Abbey In Favour Of Accused, The Girl, Last Tango


Sean Bean BAFTA Julian Fellowes Jimmy McGovern

This year's BAFTA nominations is a pretty well rounded list, favouring Jimmy McGovern's superb 'Accused' series, the Sienna Miller starring 'The Girl' and 'Last Tango In Halifax,' a drama about elderly sweethearts reuniting through the internet. Notable by its absence though was Downton Abbey, which rightfully failed to secure a single nomination after a dreadful season that, at best, got lukewarm reviews and at worse was ridiculed by critics.

Instead it was the Derek Jacobi starring 'Last Tango' and Jimmy McGovern's Accused that led the way, while comedy Twenty Twelve and the Olympics coverage received four nominations each. In the acting categories, Sean Bean was nominated for his excellent turn as transvestite Tracie in Accused, while Jacobi got a nod for Tango. Sienna Miller, as Tippi Hedren, and Anne Reid were both nominated for Best Actress, while the Best Supporting Actress gong should go to either Imelda Staunton or Sarah Lancashire.

Though American audiences are seemingly all too happy to eat up whatever Julian Fellowes scribbles down for Downton Abbey, many critics were unhappy with the storytelling and farfetched shockers in season three, including when popular character Matthew died in a car crash. Fellowes took the opportunity to defend his work when speaking with the New York Times. "Most of the soap operas always use the Christmas special to kill huge quantities of their characters. So they have trams coming off their rails, or cars slamming into each other or burning buildings. It's a general clear-out," he said.

Continue reading: BAFTA Rightly Snubs Downton Abbey In Favour Of Accused, The Girl, Last Tango

WANTED: Black Actor And Drunk Man For Downton Abbey Season Four


Julian Fellowes

Award winning ITV drama Downton Abbey is to introduce its first black character as part of a storyline about race relations in the 1920's, set to air during series four. Are you an attractive looking black actor? Well, the part of musician Jack Ross could be yours. No, seriously. It could be yours.

Casting notes have been sent out to agents, which show Downton producers are on the hunt for someone to play Ross - described as "Male, 25-30. A musician (singer) at an exclusive club in the 20's." The casting note adds, "He's black and very handsome. A real man (not a boy) with charm and charisma." Whoever lands the role should "ideally be able to sing brilliantly," and "should be a very attractive man with a certain wow factor." Is Jamie Foxx doing anything?

Jack Ross will play a key role in the fourth series of the hit TV period-drama, though there's plenty of other new roles up for grabs too. So, if you're not a handsome, singing, black actor, how about a good looking, charismatic man with strong morals? That's exactly what Downton Abbey require for the role of Lord Anthony Gillingham - the new love interest of Lady Mary Crawley. The character also helps out the family with their money woes, according to The Sun. 

Continue reading: WANTED: Black Actor And Drunk Man For Downton Abbey Season Four

Downton Abbey Writer Julian Fellowes Considers Leaving The Show


Julian Fellowes

Such is the success of Downton Abbey, that its writer, Julian Fellowes is busy with a number of projects. One of these – Gilded Age – is threatening to end his involvement in Downton, as he himself explained to The New York Times.

“If I’m doing a series at NBC, I would not be able to write all of Downton and all of that series at the same time,’ he said. “I would hope that by the time all the hurdles have been cleared, the timing makes it so I can then concentrate on the new series.” But what would Downton be without Fellowes? The writer has crafted the show into being one of the most popular in Britain – and that success has been translated to the U.S well. Surely if he leaves, the show would have to wrap it up? "If Downton goes on – of course, that’s not my decision – then it would be with other writers. Perhaps with me supervising, but with other writers. There’s no point, really, in making pronouncements of absolutes,” said the writer.

Many shows, we won’t name any names, extend their lives long after they’re dead, providing us with season after season of diminishing quality. And this, of course, is something Fellowes has considered. “My own belief is that these things have a life, and one of the tricks is to recognise when it’s time to come to an end,” he explained. “But we haven’t made a decision when that will be. Some things go on for 20 years, don’t they, but I just don’t see Downton being one of them.”

Gwyneth Paltrow In Downton Abbey? Maybe Not, But She Should Be


Gwyneth Paltrow Julian Fellowes

Rumours have abounded lately that Gwyneth Paltrow is set to appear in a cameo role in Downton Abbey. Since starting her family back in 2004, Gwyneth Paltrow has kept away from starring roles, not liking to be away from her kids for too long, back in December she said that "no, women can't have it all." 

While she may be right, Paltrow is about as close as it gets, and while she continues to stay away from the direct spotlight, it's a delight to see her popping up in a variety of cameo and guesting roles, such as in Glee and a minor role in the Iron Man franchise. The latest rumour about Gwynny is that she wants to be in Downton Abbey.

TVGuide reports via Star Magazine: "[Paltrow] adored working on Glee and told her team to get her on Downton Abbey, stat! She's been told on the downlow that [show creator] Julian Fellowes is 'thrilled' and fleshing out a cameo for her." However, the rumours seem to be untrue given that Gwyn's rep told Gossip Cop that no, "She is not" appearing on "Downton Abbey." 

Continue reading: Gwyneth Paltrow In Downton Abbey? Maybe Not, But She Should Be

Stuart Varney Ponders The Social And Political Impact Of Downton Abbey In America


Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes' Downton Abbey enjoyed a fruitful migration to U.S shores, proving to be a great success, which was a surprise considering the British brand of comedy is yet to truly take America by storm. For drama, however, the lines are less blurry. 

Stuart Varney - British economic journalist and host of Fox's Business series - has trepidations about the message it sends out, especially for leftist politics. "The politics of Downton are very important and it's important that they are popular in America today," Varney said. "Rich people, powerful people, in America today, are reviled. They're dismissed as fat cats who don't pay their fair share. We just hate 'em -- 'Rich people are evil' ... Yet, along comes this show 'Downton Abbey' -- rich people prominently featured and they're generous; they're nice people; they create jobs, for heaven's sake; they're classy; they've got style and we love 'em ... That show is wildly popular, which poses a threat to the left, doesn't it?"

HuffPost TV's Maureen Ryan wrote about her problems with "Downton Abbey" Season 3 and said, "The big problem during a large chunk of the season amounts to the following, more or less: 'Oh no, a very rich man is having to face the possibility of being slightly less comfortable!' It's fun to escape into a world of lush privilege when times are hard, but the tenor of the times also make it quite difficult to care about a well-to-do family having to trim its budget a bit."

Festive TV War - Downton Abbey Christmas Special Beats Call The Midwife


Julian Fellowes

In the battle of the Christmas specials, BBC have been forced to back down and move their 75 minute episode of Call the Midwife, to make way for a 2 hour episode of the Julian Fellowes drama Downton Abbey. The war of the festive programming has gone five rounds, before the two channels finally came to an agreement. In fact, by the sounds of it, it’s lucky they didn’t have to draft the UN in to forge a peace agreement between them.

The Daily Mail reports today though that after “hours of negotiations,” Call the Midwife will air at 7:30pm, after ITV said that they wish Downton to start at 8:45pm. A senior member of staff at the BBC said “We wanted to avoid a clash if possible and give viewers a chance to watch both on the day if they wanted to.” So, your Christmas Day viewing schedule has finally been decided for you: Call the Midwife at 7:30pm (unless you want to watch Coronation Street, of course) and then Downton at 8:45pm (unless you want to watch Eastenders, of course). And frankly, if you’ve got a fancy TV that records programmes you’re not watching, then all of this will be of very little consequence at all.

Somewhat bizarrely, Downton Abbey’s festive special will actually be set in summer time, as Lord and Lady Grantham enjoy a holiday break with Scottish cousins at Duneagle Castle. If they haven’t got the ‘festive’ bit of the ‘festive drama,’ then you’d better keep your fingers crossed that they remembered the ‘drama.’

Can Julian Fellowes Recreate Downton Success


Julian Fellowes

Could Julian Fellowes recreate the success of Downton Abbey in a new series, set over the pond in America? Well, we will soon find out the answer to that question, apparently, as The New York Times have reported that Fellowes is now on board with NBC and Universal Television in America, to work on a new “sweeping epic,” entitled The Gilded Age. The show is said to be set in 1880’s New York and will focus on the wealthy communities of that time.

Fellowes speaks of his new project with excitement, saying “This was a vivid time. With dizzying, brilliant ascents and calamitous falls, of record-breaking ostentation and savage rivalry; a time when money was king.” The president of NBC Entertainment, Jennifer Salke, was reportedly “thrilled” to have Fellowes on their team for the new show and said “"Having him on our team represents a major creative coup.” Which is no real surprise, given the accolades that Downton has received over in the United States this year.

Downton Abbey may be a quintessentially British series but it’s popularity in the USA has been unprecedented. The First Lady, Michelle Obama, even put in a special request to get a sneak preview of the next series. So Fellowes clearly has the chops to connect with an American audience and we’re keen to see what he comes up with for his new drama. Currently, details of when the show will air are still unknown.

Downton's Julian Fellowes Working On 'The Gilded Age' With NBC


Julian Fellowes

We all know that Julian Fellowes is very good at British period dramas. He wrote the screen play for the enormously successful Gosford Park, but more recently and more notably he is the creator of Downton Abbey, the 1930s British drama that has made waves on both sides of the Atlantic. Acknowledging his talent, NBC has brought him on board for their new project 'The Gilded Age" which is set to be about the wealths of the American renaissance, according to the Huffington Post.

Set in the New York of the 1880s, the show is expected to exude the opulence of the age. "This was a vivid time, with dizzying, brilliant ascents and calamitous falls, of record-breaking ostentation and savage rivalry; a time when money was king," Fellowes said about the era. 

"We at the network are all so thrilled to be working with the immensely talented Julian Fellowes, who is universally admired for his critically and commercially appealing productions," Jennifer Salke, Entertainment Chair for NBC, said in a statement. "Having him on our team represents a major creative coup and everyone is looking forward to his first NBC project in 'The Gilded Age.'"

Continue reading: Downton's Julian Fellowes Working On 'The Gilded Age' With NBC

Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle: I Know Exactly When Show Will End


Brendan Coyle Julian Fellowes Jessica Brown-Findlay

Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle has told Radio Times that the stars of the show know exactly when it’s going to end. So, if you were hoping that Downton Abbey would somehow evolve into a soap opera, with no shelf life, then we’re afraid you must be prepared to be disappointed. “I can pretty much say all of [the cast] know when Downton is going to end,” revealed Coyle, whose character Mr. Bates is currently serving time for allegedly murdering his wife. “This is a show with a finite life,” he stressed. “If we bring this into the 50s, it’s Emmerdale. Though I really like Emmerdale…”

What you can look forward to – even if it’s not endless episodes of Downton Abbey from now until kingdom come, is more drama and more ambiguity. “If you think it’s ambiguous now, it gets more ambiguous,” Coyle explains, teasingly. “Bates has been in the Boer War… he would have killed a lot of people. Does that mean he can kill his wife? What does it do to you?” Bates’ innocence, or otherwise, is currently one of the central debates of the show.

Last weekend, social networking sites were ablaze with misery as one of Downton Abbey’s best-loved characters, Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay), died shortly after childbirth. With Downton Abbey Season 3 in full swing in the UK, Julian Fellowes’ period drama has become a favourite both at home in the UK and across the pond in the United States. But just when, exactly, will its lifespan come to an end?


Julian Fellowes To Pen ‘Downton Abbey’ Prequel?


Julian Fellowes Elizabeth McGovern Hugh Bonneville Maggie Smith Michelle Dockery

Julian Fellowes wishes to write a prequel on the main characters in his hit ITV1 show ‘Downton Abbey’ after the last series is aired.

The Oscar winning screenwriter, who also wrote the recent ‘Titanic’ mini-series, ‘The Tourist’ and ‘Gosford Park’, wants to recreate the story of when characters Robert and Cora Crawley, the Earl and Countess of Grantham, met and the ‘trouble courtship’ that ensued on to screen. ‘She was in love with him before they married, as we know, and he married her entirely for her money’, Fellowes said at the BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture Series. ‘I sort of feel there's something quite nice in there because he's a decent cove, and so he feels rather guilty about this which has affected their marriage beyond that.’

Fellowes was also adamant that the show be aired after ‘Downton Abbey’ had finished. ‘I don't think you can continue a narrative in more than one area at once’, he said. ‘I never really liked those Coronation Street Christmas specials where they all go to Haiti, and you don't have to watch it. Somehow it doesn't feel very organic.’ The show is currently on series three and stars Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith and Michelle Dockery.


Brits Abroad: Damian Lewis And Maggie Smith Win Big At Emmy Awards 2012


Damian Lewis Maggie Smith Julian Fellowes Martin Freeman Benedict Cumberbatch Jon Cryer Jim Parsons Charlie Sheen

British actor Damian Lewis and screen veteran Maggie Smith were among the winners at the Emmy Awards 2012 in Los Angeles on Sunday evening (September 23, 2012). Lewis – who plays an American soldier in ‘Homeland’ – picked up the award for Best Actor in a Drama, while Downton Abbey’s Smith won Best Supporting Actress.

On receiving his award, Lewis joked with the star-studded audience, “I'm one of those pesky Brits, I apologise,” adding, “I don't really believe in judging art, but I thought I'd show up just in case.” Lewis’ show ‘Homeland’ upset the odds by taking the evening’s biggest prize, for Best Drama, ahead of big favorite Breaking Bad and four-time winner Mad Men. Maggie Smith’s award was the solitary highlight in a terrible night for Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey, which had been nominated for a whopping sixteen prizes. Instead, it was national security drama Homeland, HBO’s Game Change and the much-loved US comedy Modern Family who won the most awards, with three each. Armed with Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, the BBC would have felt quietly confident for the Lead Actor and Supporting Actor gongs, but both actors missed out.

Another big surprise at this year’s Emmys was Jon Cryer’s award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in ‘Two and a Half Men’. The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons was the hot favorite for the award, though it was Cryer who walked away with the prize. Who needs Charlie Sheen?


The Tourist Review


OK
This is a thoroughly offbeat concoction from the gifted filmmaker behind the acclaimed The Lives of Others: a rather goofy action comedy that deflates the suspense by telling us pretty much everything from the start.

Elisa (Jolie) is a sleek, overdressed woman of mystery who is being stalked by a tenacious British detective (Bettany). When she boards a train from Paris to Venice, his men are in hot pursuit, so she sidles up to American touristFrank (Depp) to throw them off the scent. He looks similar to her boyfriend, who's wanted by the cops and a vicious Russian mobster (Berkoff). Once in Venice, Frank finds his world turned upside both by this ludicrously elegant woman and the army of goons pursuing him at every turn.

Continue reading: The Tourist Review

Piccadilly Jim Review


Weak
A rather hysterical oddity that can't decide what era it's set in or what mood to play, Piccadilly Jim just chucks it all at the screen and hopes that some wit will come through and generate some laughs. Fortunately for the audience, some of it does - unfortunately for the film, not nearly enough.

Based on P.G. Wodehouse's novel, the film concerns the exploits of one Jim Crocker (Sam Rockwell), a young wastrel whose social-climbing American mother (Allison Janney, sharp as a tack) has forced him and his father (Tom Wilkinson), a failed British actor, to live in London and try and impress the swells there. She does this just to tick off her competitive sister, Nesta (Brenda Blethyn), a fact not wasted on the men of the family. Spoiling his mother's plans is Jim's penchant to booze it up all over town, getting into fistfights and leaving flappers scattered about the house and in his bed. Jim decides to ostensibly reform his wayward ways when he meets Nesta's step-niece Anne (Frances O'Connor), who won't have anything to do with him unless he pretends to be someone else - Jim once wrote a gossip column under the name "Piccadilly Jim", and once someone else writing the column (he hasn't worked on it for years) gave a negative review to a collection of Anne's poems. Jim thusly does the only sensible thing a fellow could do: He pretends to be a teetotaler Christian named Algernon Bayliss. Somehow, along the way, a German spy and some scientific secrets come into play, but one would be well-served to not wonder how.

Continue reading: Piccadilly Jim Review

Separate Lies Review


Good
A film that would be perfectly at home on the BBC or PBS, Julian Fellowes' Separate Lies is a solid if somewhat stolid tale of romance, betrayal, and deception that's something akin to Gosford Park (which Fellowes' scripted) by way of In the Bedroom. Adapted from Nigel Balchin's novel A Way Through the Wood, Fellowes' directorial debut is much like its upper-crust married protagonists James (Tom Wilkinson) and Anne Manning (Emily Watson) in that its competent and classy exterior masks a messy, banal interior as it charts the couple's slow disintegration. With made-for-TV blandness, the film chronicles adultery, murder, and deceit involving callous young stallion William Bule (Rupert Everett) and the Mannings' loyal maid Maggie (Linda Bassett). That isn't to say that this well-acted, tasteful film is a waste; rather, it's simply a somewhat stuffy British production whose boilerplate melodrama leaves little room for a revelatory examination of selfishness, sneakiness, self-preservation, and sacrifice.

James and Anne's wealth affords them life's finest luxury accoutrements (residences in both London and the country, fancy cars, servants), but restlessness simmers underneath this apparently cheery, perfect veneer, with Anne soon catapulting their domestic bliss into chaos when she begins a torrid affair with William. When a mysterious Range Rover runs down Maggie's husband, Anne and William come under suspicion for the murder from both the police and James, the latter of whom endeavors to protect his wife (and, equally as important, his own reputation as a big-time barrister) by helping to cover up her possible role in the crime. Fellowes wastes little time on mystery, however, as his prime preoccupation is the method by which relationships crumble due to tragedies both big (the hit-and-run death) and, just as vitally, small (James and Anne's lack of warmth, inability to communicate, and joint desire to sweep unhappiness under the Persian rug lest it disrupt their comfortable existence). And with Anne unwilling to cast aside her youngish paramour to return to her husband, the film quickly becomes a case study in people's inability to fully suppress their most urgent desires and discontent.

Continue reading: Separate Lies Review

Gosford Park Review


Good
If Robert Altman had been given The Remains of the Day, the end product might have looked something like this.

Gosford Park is the name of an English country estate, where, in 1932, a gaggle of royals and wannabes -- including a horde of locals plus a popular British actor and a Charlie Chan-obsessed Hollywood movie producer -- gather to attend a weekend hunting party. Upstairs, it's the usual hoity-toity, drawing room chitter-chatter, while downstairs an army of servants does little but gossip about the visitors above.

Continue reading: Gosford Park Review

Vanity Fair Review


Very Good
Mira Nair has groomed her sumptuous adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair for Oscar contention, and the period epic easily could compete in a number of technical categories. Pencil the handsome film down for costume design, art direction, and makeup nominations. Declan Quinn's cinematography certainly deserves a nod, too. It's a little early to tell how all the races will shake out, but leading lady Reese Witherspoon could even surprise a few people by seeing her name on a short list of Best Actress nominees.

Too bad no one is going to pay to see the film. Most mainstream filmgoers would opt for root canal over having to sit through a 19th century social commentary piece. Take Ang Lee's Sense And Sensibility as an example. It earned seven Oscar nominations back in 1995, but only grossed $42 million in the States.

Continue reading: Vanity Fair Review

Piccadilly Jim Review


Weak
A rather hysterical oddity that can't decide what era it's set in or what mood to play, Piccadilly Jim just chucks it all at the screen and hopes that some wit will come through and generate some laughs. Fortunately for the audience, some of it does - unfortunately for the film, not nearly enough.

Based on P.G. Wodehouse's novel, the film concerns the exploits of one Jim Crocker (Sam Rockwell), a young wastrel whose social-climbing American mother (Allison Janney, sharp as a tack) has forced him and his father (Tom Wilkinson), a failed British actor, to live in London and try and impress the swells there. She does this just to tick off her competitive sister, Nesta (Brenda Blethyn), a fact not wasted on the men of the family. Spoiling his mother's plans is Jim's penchant to booze it up all over town, getting into fistfights and leaving flappers scattered about the house and in his bed. Jim decides to ostensibly reform his wayward ways when he meets Nesta's step-niece Anne (Frances O'Connor), who won't have anything to do with him unless he pretends to be someone else - Jim once wrote a gossip column under the name "Piccadilly Jim", and once someone else writing the column (he hasn't worked on it for years) gave a negative review to a collection of Anne's poems. Jim thusly does the only sensible thing a fellow could do: He pretends to be a teetotaler Christian named Algernon Bayliss. Somehow, along the way, a German spy and some scientific secrets come into play, but one would be well-served to not wonder how.

Continue reading: Piccadilly Jim Review

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Julian Fellowes Movies

The Tourist Movie Review

The Tourist Movie Review

This is a thoroughly offbeat concoction from the gifted filmmaker behind the acclaimed The Lives...

Separate Lies Movie Review

Separate Lies Movie Review

A film that would be perfectly at home on the BBC or PBS, Julian Fellowes'...

Gosford Park Movie Review

Gosford Park Movie Review

If Robert Altman had been given The Remains of the Day, the end product might...

Vanity Fair Movie Review

Vanity Fair Movie Review

Mira Nair has groomed her sumptuous adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair for...

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