This week on The Richard Crouse Show: Kevin Doyle plays the Abbey’s second footman, Joseph Molesley in both the television show and movie version of “Downtown Abbey.” Molesley has had a tumultuous time over the series, however he seems to have found peace and, potentially, love with fellow servant, Phyllis Baxter (Raquel Cassidy). As well as numerous stage credits, Doyle is a familiar face on British television. As well as appearances on Casualty, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Midsomer Murders, he has starred in ITV’s At Home With the Braithwaites, BBC drama The Lakes and played the rebel John Constable in The Tudors.
Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Ethan Hawke, director Brad Bird, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Eric Roberts, Brian Henson, Jonathan Goldsmith a.k.a. “The most interesting man in the world,” and best selling author Linwood Barclay.
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A weekly feature from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at “Downtown Abbey,” the punk rock genre film “Riot Girls,” Brad Pitt’s trip into outer reaches of space and his own psyche in “Ad Astra.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the big screen adaptation of “Downtown Abbey,” Brad Pitt’s trip into outer reaches of space and his own psyche in “Ad Astra” and the music doc “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the big screen adaptation of “Downtown Abbey,” the punk rock genre film “Riot Girls,” Brad Pitt’s trip into outer reaches of space and his own psyche in “Ad Astra” and the music doc “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band.”
Last night Richard hosted a screening of the new “Downton Abbey” movie at the Varsity Theatre in Toronto with Lesley Nicol who played Mrs. Patmore, Phyllis Logan who was Mrs. Hughes and Kevin Doyle who played Mr. Mosley. When Richard asked if anyone took any mementos home from the set after the film was done Doyle joked, “I took Maggie Smith home!”
Near the end of “Downton Abbey,” the big screen finale to the widely popular slice of British upper-class life, Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern) coos, “I do love our adventures.” I imagine the vast majority of the audience will nod in silent agreement, basking in the reflected glow of highly polished silverware in this very fan friendly film.
The story picks up shortly after the end of the television series. Inside the mammoth country house that gave the show its name Earl Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) sips tea and trades barbs with his acid tongued mother the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith), his wife Cora at his side. Daughters Edith (Laura Carmichael) and Mary (Michelle Dockery) are married to the 7th Marquess of Hexham (Harry Hadden-Paton) and Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) respectively. Son-in-Law Tom Branson (Allen Leech), former chauffeur, Irish socialist and current estate manager for the property, raises his daughter with the help of… well, the help, who live downstairs.
Everyone, upstairs and down, are whipped into a tizzy when it’s announced that Queen Mary (Geraldine James) and King George V (Simon Jones) will be stopping by for a visit.
The news sends the house staff into a frenzy of silverware polishing and menu planning. Retired butler Carson (Jim Carter) is called back into service, while his head housekeeper wife Elsie (Phyllis Logan) gets the staff, including snooty butler Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier), cook Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) and assistant cook Daisy (Sophie McShera), ready for the Royal visit.
Trouble is, Lady Maud Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton), one of the Queen’s ladies in waiting is in the Dowager Countess’s bad books. Seems Lord Grantham is her closest relative but she intends to leave her substantial estate to someone else. Prepare for some grade-a Dowager zingers.
Add to that a suspicious character in the village (Stephen Campbell Moore), the pompous royal staff, questions about Tom’s allegiance, stolen knick-knacks, a mild mutiny in defense of Downton’s honour, unlikely love stories and one royal meltdown and you have a story that feels like a high-falutin’ soap opera made by Merchant Ivory on an Earl Grey binge.
“Downton Abbey” is pure fan service. Most of the characters return, although Lily James fans will be disappointed, the house is as grand as ever and James is just as petulant as ever, if perhaps a little less villainous this time around. Revelations are made, storylines from the TV show are closed and, as always, life goes on at Downton. It all feels very familiar but like a comforting cup of tea, very welcome.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the big screen adaptation of “Downtown Abbey,” Brad Pitt’s trip into outer reaches of space and his own psyche in “Ad Astra” and the music doc “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band.”
There are eight million stories in the naked city, and the story of Paddington the cuddly, orphaned Peruvian bear is one of them.
Based on the much-loved children’s books by Michael Bond, “Paddington” begins in “darkest Peru” as jaunty English explorer Montgomery Clyde (Tim Downie) discovers Lucy and Pastuzo (voices of Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon), a family of super intelligent, anglophile bears. Before heading back to old Blighty Clyde teaches them the Queen’s English, introduces them to marmalade, gifts them a floppy bright red hat and an invitation to stop by should they ever find themselves in London.
Cut to decades later. In the grand tradition of kid’s stories, an orphaned child (voice of Ben Whishaw)—in this case the marmalade-obsessed grandson of Lucy and Pastuzo—is forced to take a great journey to safety. The cub, armed only with a “worrying marmalade problem” and the distinctive red hat, lands at Paddington Station in London. Instead of the warm welcome he expected, he’s met with indifference.
“Keep your eyes down, there’s some sort of bear over there.”
After a long wait, Mr. and Mrs. Brown (“Downton Abbey’s” Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins) and kids Judy and Jonathan (Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin) take pity on the polite little bear and bring him home, but only for one night. Of course, one night turns into a longer stay as the Browns learn to love the little bear, even though chaos follows his every step. Adding drama to the story is an ursophobic neighbor (“Doctor Who’s” Peter Capaldi) and a crazed taxidermist (Nicole Kidman).
Warm, funny and as eccentric as a movie about a talking bear should be, “Paddington” is great family entertainment. Director Paul King keeps up the pace—this is not a teddy bore!—but never allows the film to become frenetic. The action scenes are fun, yet gentle, amusing and inventive. Paddington’s unintentional takedown of a pickpocket is a wonderful, silly gag that captures and updates the spirit of the old “Paddington” books with an up-to-date look and feel for a new generation.
Laugh out loud funny—for kids and parents—“Paddington” also offers up a message of tolerance. “In London everyone is different,” says Paddington, “so everyone can fit in.” It’s a big idea, washed down with a giant melting-pot of marmalade, but also a timely one.