Michelle Dockery is sleek in black as she joins leggy Laura Carmichael and stylish Elizabeth McGovern at NY premiere for Downton Abbey movie

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The highly-anticipated Downton Abbey movie opens in theatres on Friday.

And on Monday night, the stars of the PBS Masterpiece series walked the red carpet at the New York premiere for the film.

The British cast continue the story of the Crawley family in the feature-length drama written by the show's creator Julian Fellowes and directed by Michael Engler.

Michelle Dockery led the stylish cast of Downton Abbey at a premiere for their new movie in New York City on Monday
Elizabeth McGovern made an entrance
Laura Carmichael stunned

Leading ladies: Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern and Laura Carmichael led the stylish cast of Downton Abbey at a premiere for their new movie in New York City on Monday

Make a statement like Laura wearing Oscar de la Renta

She wowed us at Downton Abbey’s UK premiere in a Monse dress and, thanks to stylist Rebecca Corbin-Murray, Laura Carcmiachel has done it again on the red carpet in New York.

Joining her co-stars for the lavish event the actress kept it classic in a black Oscar de la Renta dress. However, this one is designed with all the standout signature aesthetics the label is renowned for from the one one-shoulder design to the ruched silhouette that creates a draping side knot. Notes of recent collections are reflected in the gold sequin embellished that finishes the dress.

Sadly, we mere mortals can’t buy Laura's look but swoon over the current collection at NET-A-PORTER via the link.

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Leading ladies Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael and Elizabeth McGovern put on a stunning show with their choice of outfits.

Dockery, 37, won hearts and fans with her portrayal of Lady Mary Crawley on Downton Abbey.

The raven-haired beauty was the epitome of style in a sleeveless and backless black gown that hugged her figure as it fell to the floor. 

Her hair was styled in a chignon and she accessorized with gold hoop earrings and a bejeweled cuff on her left wrist.  

Sleek: Michelle Dockery, 37, was the epitome of style in a sleeveless and backless black gown that hugged her figure as it fell to the floor

Sleek: Michelle Dockery, 37, was the epitome of style in a sleeveless and backless black gown that hugged her figure as it fell to the floor

Flawless: Her hair was styled in a chignon and she accessorized with gold hoop earrings and a bejeweled cuff on her left wrist

Flawless: Her hair was styled in a chignon and she accessorized with gold hoop earrings and a bejeweled cuff on her left wrist

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Star: The raven-haired beauty won hearts and fans with her portrayal of Lady Mary Crawley on Downton Abbey that ran from 2010 to 2015 on PBS Masterpiece

Classic look: Elizabeth McGovern, 58, who stars as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, wore a 20s-inspired red dress with dropped hem and a long scarf wrapped around the neck

Classic look: Elizabeth McGovern, 58, who stars as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, wore a 20s-inspired red dress with dropped hem and a long scarf wrapped around the neck

The actress added silver pointed-toe heels with embellished ankle straps and statement pendant earrings
Her brunette bob was styled in waves for a flapper girl look and she carried a black evening purse.

Dazzling: The actress added silver pointed-toe heels with embellished ankle straps and statement pendant earrings. Her brunette bob was styled in waves for a flapper girl look

Leggy look: Laura Carmichael, 33, went for a one-shoulder black mini dress with a large panel falling from the hip on one side. The dress had a large embroidered floral motif on the front

Leggy look: Laura Carmichael, 33, went for a one-shoulder black mini dress with a large panel falling from the hip on one side. The dress had a large embroidered floral motif on the front

Pretty: Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley, styled her blonde bob with an off-center parting and tucked behind one ear

Pretty: Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley, styled her blonde bob with an off-center parting and tucked behind one ear

DOWNTON ABBEY: THE EARLY REVIEWS ARE IN 

'This film is nothing more than an entire series in miniature, full of compacted plots and sub-plots, some compelling, some preposterous, some purring' 

- Brian Viner, Daily Mail  

'Julian Fellowes would have been far better off writing another relaxed Christmas special to satisfy fans'

– Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post 

'This film puts the lite into polite, the fine into refined and the cent into decent'

– Grant Rollings, The Sun 

'Upscaling the cosy charms of the series hasn't entirely worked, in that you couldn't say this comfortably belongs in a cinema at any stage' 

– Tim Robey, The Telegraph

'Standing on the strong foundations of the series’ success, the film-makers sensibly resist the temptation to do anything other than build on their established crowd-pleasing formula' 

– Chris Hunneysett, The Mirror

Elizabeth McGovern, 58, who stars as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, wore a 20s-inspired red dress with dropped hem and a long scarf wrapped around the neck and falling to the floor behind her.

She paired the sleeveless number with silver pointed-toe heels that had embellished ankle straps and statement pendant earrings.

Her brunette bob was styled in waves for a flapper girl look and she carried a black evening purse.  

Laura Carmichael, 33, went for a leggy look in a one-shoulder black mini dress with a large panel falling from the hip on one side.

The dress had a large embroidered floral motif on the front and she stepped out in sparkly sandal heels.

The actress, who plays Lady Edith Crawley, styled her blonde bob with an off-center parting and tucked behind one ear.

Sophie McShera, who plays kitchen maid Daisy in the period drama, shimmered in a midnight blue gown slit to the thigh on one side.

Her brunette shoulder-length hair was loose  and she added black sandal heels to complete her look. 

The men of Downtown also showed off their style credentials as they arrived at the premiere.

Hugh Bonneville, 55, who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, stood out from the crowd in a bright green three-piece linen suit.

 

Sparkly: Sophie McShera, who plays kitchen maid Daisy in the period drama, shimmered in a midnight blue gown slit to the thigh on one side

Sparkly: Sophie McShera, who plays kitchen maid Daisy in the period drama, shimmered in a midnight blue gown slit to the thigh on one side

Lesley Nicol plays Downton cook Mrs. Patmore,
Penelope Wilton plays Isobel

Lesley Nicol who plays cook Mrs. Patmore, left, and Penelope Wilton, who plays Isobel, right, were also on hand for the screening at Manhattan's Alice Tully Hall

On trend: Raquel Cassidy, 51, who plays the Countess of Grantham's lady's maid Baxter, wore a striking sleeveless frock with black bustier bodice and striped skirt

On trend: Raquel Cassidy, 51, who plays the Countess of Grantham's lady's maid Baxter, wore a striking sleeveless frock with black bustier bodice and striped skirt

Allen Leech, 38, who plays chauffeur turned son-in-law Tom Branson, went with a wide check gray two-piece suit that he wore with a striped shirt and a green polka dot tie.

Harry Hadden-Paton, who plays Bertie Pelham, showed up in a dark check suit with white shirt and pale pink tie while Kevin Doyle, who plays footman Joseph Molesley, chose a blue suit with white shirt and blue silk tie.

Unmissable: Hugh Bonneville, 55, who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, stood out from the crowd in a bright green three-piece linen suit

Unmissable: Hugh Bonneville, 55, who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, stood out from the crowd in a bright green three-piece linen suit

Suave: Allen Leech, 38, who plays chauffeur turned son-in-law Tom Branson, went with a wide check gray two-piece suit that he wore with a striped shirt and a green polka dot tie

Suave: Allen Leech, 38, who plays chauffeur turned son-in-law Tom Branson, went with a wide check gray two-piece suit that he wore with a striped shirt and a green polka dot tie

Harry Hadden-Paton, who plays Bertie Pelham, showed up in a dark check suit and pale pink tie
Kevin Doyle, who plays Joseph Molesley, chose a blue suit with blue silk tie

Harry Hadden-Paton, who plays Bertie Pelham, showed up in a dark check suit and pale pink tie while Kevin Doyle, who plays Joseph Molesley, chose a blue suit with blue silk tie

Jim Carter, 71, who stars as Carson the butler, opted for a dark blue suit with white shirt and matching dark blue tie.

He was accompanied to the premiere by his wife, the actress Imelda Staunton, 63, who joins the Downton Abbey cast for the movie.

The couple have been married since 1983. 

Runs the show: Jim Carter, 71, who stars as Carson the butler, opted for a dark blue suit with white shirt and matching dark blue tie

Runs the show: Jim Carter, 71, who stars as Carson the butler, opted for a dark blue suit with white shirt and matching dark blue tie

Co-stars: Carter was accompanied to the premiere by his wife, the actress Imelda Staunton, 63, who joins the Downton Abbey cast for the movie. The couple have been married since 1983

Co-stars: Carter was accompanied to the premiere by his wife, the actress Imelda Staunton, 63, who joins the Downton Abbey cast for the movie. The couple have been married since 1983

Downton Abbey ran for six seasons from 2010 to 2015. 

The story revolves around the Earl and Countess of Grantham, their three daughters and the household staff who serve them.

It begins in 1912 when the male heir to the title and estate of Grantham, who was to marry the eldest Crawley daughter Mary so as to keep the fortune in the family, perishes in the sinking of the Titanic. 

The series ended on New Year's Day 1926 with unlucky in love Lady Edith Crawley finally marrying while Lady Mary and her sister Sybil's widower Tom Branson helping Earl Grantham with the running of the estate.

The movie picks up the plot in 1927 as Downton Abbey prepares to welcome King George V and Queen Mary. 

The man behind the drama: Julian Fellowes, who created Downton Abbey, wrote the screenplay for the movie which opens in theatres this Friday

The man behind the drama: Julian Fellowes, who created Downton Abbey, wrote the screenplay for the movie which opens in theatres this Friday

Role to play: British actor Simon Jones, 69, joins the big screen cast as King George V who visits Downton Abbey with his wife Queen Mary

Role to play: British actor Simon Jones, 69, joins the big screen cast as King George V who visits Downton Abbey with his wife Queen Mary

The premiere brought out some famous faces who are clearly fans of the British period drama.

On the guest list were Kathleen Turner, Samantha Mathis, Martha Stewart, Christine Baranski and Jonathan Pryce.

Some of the movie's stars also turned the premiere into a date night and brought along their spouses for their big night in the Big Apple. 

Made an impression: Actress Samantha Mathis, 49, was among the famous face who showed up to see the film. She wore a red and black patterned gown with a plunging neckline

Made an impression: Actress Samantha Mathis, 49, was among the famous face who showed up to see the film. She wore a red and black patterned gown with a plunging neckline

Stylish: Christine Baranski, 67, was on point in a tailored black suit with double breasted jacket

Stylish: Christine Baranski, 67, was on point in a tailored black suit with double breasted jacket

Martha Stewart, 78, was on the guest list
So was Kathleen Turner, 65

VIPs: Martha Stewart, 78, left, was on the guest list as was Kathleen Turner, 65, right 

British actor and Broadway stalwart Jonathan Pryce, 72,lent his support to the movie

British actor and Broadway stalwart Jonathan Pryce, 72,lent his support to the movie

Bonneville's date for the night was his wife Lulu Williams who wore a colorful floral print dress and black heels

Bonneville's date for the night was his wife Lulu Williams who wore a colorful floral print dress and black heels

Carmichael posed for photos with her actor beau Michael Fox, 30, who plays footman Andrew Parker in Downton Abbey

Carmichael posed for photos with her actor beau Michael Fox, 30, who plays footman Andrew Parker in Downton Abbey

Leech brought along his actress wife Jessica Blair Herman. The couple married in January and have just announced they're expecting their first child together

Leech brought along his actress wife Jessica Blair Herman. The couple married in January and have just announced they're expecting their first child together

Hadden-Paton and actress wife Rebecca Night made for a very stylish couple

Hadden-Paton and actress wife Rebecca Night made for a very stylish couple

Max Brown, who has a supporting role in the movie, walked the red carpet with wife Annabelle Horsey

Max Brown, who has a supporting role in the movie, walked the red carpet with wife Annabelle Horsey

Downton Abbey movie review: A royal visit, a scene-stealing Maggie Smith and familiar faces provide a warm welcome home that fans will find hard to resist, writes MailOnline's Joanna Crawley

The Crawley family, and not forgetting Carson and his staff left us almost four years ago and while our world may have changed since then, theirs very much hasn’t.

And so, many Downton Abbey fans will find it difficult not to be moved by the feeling of familiarity the anticipated film follow-up to the beloved ITV series brings.

Julian Fellowes has created big screen magic from his small screen success, and it’s all for the fans.

The film picks up in 1927, two years on from where the final episode, which aired Christmas 2015, concluded.

And while the Great Depression looms, there is a sense of stability in the household. Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Lady Edith, now the Marchioness of Hexham (Laura Carmichael), are both happily married, and for once on good sisterly terms.

The Dowager Countess (Dame Maggie Smith) and Mrs Crawley (Penelope Wilton) are whiling away the hours between high tea and dinner with some good natured banter.

And there’s Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) roaming his estate with his dog by his side.

The one major change is the absence of Carson (Jim Carter) who has swapped his butler livery for gardening gloves in his new life of retirement, leaving Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) in charge.

So where’s the drama in this epitome of period dramas?

That comes via a letter from Buckingham Palace making its way to Downton in the opening sequence, revealing that the King and Queen, played by Simon Jones and Geraldine James, will be paying a visit.

Of course, this means choice words from Mrs Patmore (Lesley Nicol) down in the kitchen and a headache for Lady Mary who puts herself in charge of organising the house.

It soon transpires that such an event in Downton’s history cannot do without Carson, who is promptly bought back up to the house by Mary because as Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan) tells him “you never can say no to her”.

As well as royalty there’s the royal staff to deal with, leading to a downstairs mutiny and an upstairs scene steal from the brilliant Kevin Doyle as Mr Molesley. New faces provide the obligatory love stories too. Now Edith and Mary have finally found happiness, after leaving a trail of broken hearted and deceased men in their wake, romance arrives for the men of the house.

Tom Branson (Allen Leech), widowed for seven years since the death of Lady Sybil, falls for Lucy (Tuppence Middleton), the maid of the Queen’s Lady in Waiting Maud Bagshaw, another new character played by Imelda Staunton.

Barrow meanwhile provides an attempt at a slightly less saccharine storyline, as his homosexuality is at last given the time to be explored in some depth when he befriends a member of the royal household, the dashing Max Brown.

It’s the old faces fans really want to see though and Fellowes is such a master puppeteer of the heart strings, only the most heard-hearted will fail to have a lump in their throat when Carson strides up to the house again.

Recycled storylines like thievery of the household silver and a new spanner in the works for the Crawley family’s inheritance, pepper the royal visit set piece, but they’re rushed through and wrapped up in a neat bow so as not to bother too much.

The Christmas special episodes of Downton had a run time of 90 minutes and at just 30 minutes longer, the film does feel like another one of those extended episodes.

The cinematography has been amped up for the cinema audience, with sweeping shots of the grand house coming thick and fast while the the dazzling ariel views of the ballroom dancing really do lend themselves to this new home on the big screen.

Other TV to movie transitions aren’t quite as successful. Downton tries its best to live up to its big scene billing with some action-led set pieces, but these hurried plot points are hugely overshone by the cosy familiarity of the script.

As ever, the Dowager and Mrs Crawley’s verbal sparring give the film a jolt when the endless cups of tea and sweeping vistas send the audience into a light doze, and it’s thrilling to see Imelda Staunton share the screen with Dame Maggie. Fellowes understands and bows down to his acting talent, saving the most fleshed out backstory among his new characters for Staunton, as well as the VIP seat next to Smith.

The finale belongs to Smith and the excellent Michelle Dockery though, who share the film’s, and perhaps the entire Downton story’s most tender moment.

Aside from the Dowager’s wisecracks, the script’s stand-out line comes toward the beginning as amid a chorus of fatigue about the royal visit from her family, Lady Cora declares: ‘Isn’t it their role to brighten the lives of the nation with stateliness and glamour?’ And with that attitude, Downton the movie has hit the nail on the head. 

 

Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael and Elizabeth McGovern at NY premiere for Downton Abbey movie

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