The Downton Abbey film is finally here (although US readers will have to wait until 20 September). Loyal fans of the show have waited four years to revisit Downton’s residents and staff. Even if you’ve never watched an episode in your life, Stylist’s review of the Downton Abbey film proved that it can still offer you a bit of light-hearted and warm respite in these tense times. In case you need another reason to go along and see it, the strong, funny female characters very much lead the way on the screen.
Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) proves herself to be “the heart” of Downton and its future, as she perseveres in making sure that it will always serve its community. Violet Crawley (Dame Maggie Smith) is also on hand to deliver some of her sharpest one-liners yet. And Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) will always be the best friend we all deserve. Then, there’s Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), who is trying to maintain her identity at a time when she is expected just to play the role of a marchioness.
Over the series, fans watched Edith become independent and successful in her own right, shaking off the “poor Edith” label she was branded with because of her bad luck. For instance, despite being a single mother in the 1920s, she went on to write a column before eventually running the newspaper. And she found happiness in a marriage to a man who respects and loves her, Bertie Pelham.
Watch the trailer for the Downton Abbey movie
Speaking about how Edith and Bertie’s marriage was very modern for its time, actor Laura Carmichael talked to Stylist about how they both understand the importance of Edith maintaining her independence – and she revealed the cut line that perfectly summed up their marriage.
“Edith’s married now, so that’s a new thing. And shes bigger and grander, she’s a marchioness. But I think you see in the film how that is a different adjustment, that she’s not really always used to, because she was used to doing a bit more of what she wanted, when she liked,” shares Carmichael.
“I feel like the nice thing with Edith and Bertie, that they don’t let go of, is that they are modern with each other, and it’s quite a modern relationship.
“I think that because they are quite equal, he’s not telling her what to do. He wouldn’t want that. There’s a line that’s been cut that I miss in the ball scene, [when Bertie says] ‘To carry on writing you need to spend more time in London’.”
Speaking about what she thinks Edith goes on to do after the film finishes, she adds: “Well I hope she carries on writing. I feel like she will.
“It’s a world that still feels so mysterious to me, that world of the aristocracy and the rebels amongst it. I guess she’s going to carry on that lifestyle, you know, mixing the two: marchioness and yet she still owns this newspaper.”
You can watch Lady Edith and the rest of your favourite characters in the Downton Abbey film, which is released in UK cinemas on Frirday 13 September.