New Era, by Julian Fellowes

Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Laura Carmichael in Downton Abbey: A New Era

Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Laura Carmichael Downton Abbey: A New Era
picture: Ben Blackall / 2022 Focus Features LLC

Rejoice, Downtons! Downton Abbey: A New Era It is a well-loved franchise worthy entry for Julian Fellowes. I was right to worry, of course. The first foray into popular TV dramas on the big screen, 2019’s Downton Abbey, it felt like a glorious private holiday; It is not surprising that parasitethe superior person will take the same Upstairs, downstairs hypothesis, completely overshadowing it in terms of cultural significance. And the fact that focus features have been delayed twice new era, from December 2021 to March and then to May, it wasn’t entirely reassuring. But the sequel manages to revive that old feeling straight from the opening frames, tuned to the same tone as Jon Loone reliably sending chills through viewers as You many a Sunday, just as Alabama 3’s “Woke Up This Morning” did for fans soprano-This time only Downton It does so without the introduction of Laura Linney.

Violet (Maggie Smith), a widowed Countess, is given a villa in southern France left over by an old flame, the Marquis de Montmirail, whose widow (Natalie Bay) has vowed to challenge his will in court. Unexpectedly, Montmirails invites the Crawleys to visit. For some reason, Robert (Hugh Bonneville), Earl of Grantham, looks manicured and nailed before he ever sets foot in France. As most of the Crowley family leave to reveal horrific details about the widow’s past relationship, the widow herself and Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) stay behind.

While the previous film is nothing more than an over-moral comedy set off a royal visit to the estate, the sequel finds Fellowes revisiting some of his series’ most enduring tropes. With access to electricity, telephone, toaster, refrigerator, blender, radio, etc., the Downton crew has New technology is always welcomed with concern. Their style that struggles to adapt to the modern conveniences we take for granted never gets old, and Fellowes goes back to his old tricks again with the silent film-era cast and crew trying to make a sound picture in Downton.

As you can see, there are some leaks in the attic. To fund the expensive maintenance of the house, the Crowley family reluctantly accepts an offer from director Jack Barber (Hugh Dancy) to rent parts of Downton to shoot the eponymous “motion catograph.” gamblerStarring Jay Dexter (Dominic West), Myrna Dalglish (Laura Haddock). Before the cast and crew have a chance to exhaust their welcome, British Lion is suspending production because communication devices are required. Daring as ever, Mary encourages Jack to turn the grueling project into a soundtrack, which taps into the many hidden talents of Downton. It happens that Myrna has a hopeless Cockney accent that is unsuitable for a speaker, so Jack hires Mary to dub her lines. This sends Myrna into a singer frenzy, whose maids Anna (Joanne Frogget) and Daisy (Sophie McSherra) try to mediate. Former butler butler Molesley (Kevin Doyle), apparently a fan of the dramatic arts, steps in under the wire to craft dialogue from scratch.

Everything gets a little defined, which is really good fun. Viewers may remember a TV show A look behind the scenes at Highclere Castle, real-life Downton, and how the show has enabled costly renovations to the property. Also, it’s nice for Downton’s downstairs staff to all act star-studded and giddy about the prospect of being extra in a movie within a movie, when, for Downtonians at least, those series regulars are stars much bigger than West and Haddock, with all due respect.

Downtown Abbey: A New Era, starring Penelope Welton and Maggie Smith

Penelope Wilton and Maggie Smith in Downtown: a new era
picture: Ben Blackall / © 2022 Focus Features, LLC

As with many chains, Downton It’s most emotionally resonant when the beloved characters – not forgetting Dan Stevens’ cousin Matthew and Mrs. Sybil Jessica Brown Findley – suddenly leave. Over the years, the show has variously raised the prospects of Lady Mary and Anna heading to America (which was undoubtedly an inspiration gilded age), Daisy quits to become a secretary, butler Barrow (Robert James Collier) finds love, Dowager Countess is leaving permanently, etc., but he has not pursued these ideas. Finally, 12 years after the first episode of the series aired, there are a few notable departures in new era Make sure to hit Downtonians in the sentiment.

Unlike Michael Engler, who led the first Downton Feature, director Simon Curtis never worked on the show (although he is tangentially linked to the franchise through his wife Elizabeth McGovern and Cora, Countess of Grantham herself). However, look and feel from new era It evokes the origins of the small screen. There are periodic foundation shots showing Downton’s exterior in all its glory – an editorial choice that only makes sense for TV. But Downtons will probably be thrilled to visit this group of characters again, and here Fellowes reminds us how we invested in their lives in the first place.

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