It seems this British film is in keeping with the Hollywood screenplay format of letting the audience know what the whole story is about...by the first 10 minutes.
So you knew a young woman murdered her cheating husband and his galpal - and said young woman was considered insane and locked up for about 40 years. Then she is out and becomes the housekeeper for a dull vicar and his promiscuous wife and daughter, and brutally bullied young son. All this right in the beginning. So why bother?
Well, because Maggie Smith plays the role of the housekeeper and she is quite good in her craft. Plus, and this is a big plus - 'She' does what parents - formerly known as protectors of their children - used to do, she runs interference. If she sees great harm coming to the family she puts an end to it. Rather than this stupidity of sending your child out everyday to deal with a bully by saying 'understand him, he's probably from a bad home' or 'he just needs friends' or the equally stupid "just remember 'sticks and stone will break my bones but words will never harm me' " or just do nothing at all.
By now we should all know that kind of advice can kill a child - AND no adult goes to work everyday and puts up with a co-worker who verbally abuses them. No, they bring in a gun or sue or something. Well, this housekeeper doesn't have a gun but she is just as dangerous. She solves quite a few problems. And there is a fun twist. Yes, there is something that is revealed between the housekeeper and the vicar's promiscuous wife. So a break from the "10 minute turning-point Hollywood pap."
What beverage? Well, they drank a lot of tea so who needs tea. But a beer made with tea will hit the spot. Enjoy!