Movie Review – ‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’

SPOILERS ALERT!!!

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Having seen the TV series on Blu-ray and revisited the first film on Blu-ray, I’ve at last seen the second ‘Downton Abbey’ film ‘A New Era’ on the big screen! In fact, I’ve seen the second ‘Downton Abbey’ movie twice at the cinema! In my opinion, I found the second film better than the first film. 🙂

Before I talk about ‘A New Era’, I feel I should give a few updated thoughts on the first ‘Downton Abbey’ film, having revisited it recently on Blu-ray. When I saw the first film, I had no idea who the characters were having not seen much of the TV series, despite finding the first film easy to get into.

Now that I’ve seen the TV series, I was able to know who the characters and what their respective journeys were about. As said, the first film is easy to get into without having to watch the TV series. The same can be said for the second film, though it’s nice to know what went on before in the TV series.

Anyway, let’s talk about ‘A New Era’. I enjoyed the two storylines that went on in the film. The first story has some of the ‘Downton Abbey’ characters visiting a villa in the South of France. The second story has the rest of the ‘Downton Abbey’ characters involved with the making of a film at Downton.

It’s nice to have the cast and crew back from the ‘Downton Abbey’ TV series and the first movie in this film. It’s also good Julian Fellowes produced and wrote the screenplay of the film. I admire the production values of this film, especially as this was made in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. 🙂

I’m getting a feeling that this is the route ‘Downton Abbey’ is going in with it being movies nowadays instead of it as a TV show. It’s like how the original ‘Star Trek’ series went from being a TV series into a movie series, especially when one of the characters dies at the end of the second film (more on this later).

‘The film company coming to Downton Abbey to make a film’ storyline was fun to watch, especially when the film was being made from a silent film into a talkie film. There are echoes of the 1952 musical film ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and the 2011 film ‘The Artist’ when watching the particular storyline.

In terms of the film’s cast, there’s Hugh Bonneville back as Robert Crawley, Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Talbot, Laura Carmichael as Edith Pelham, Harry Hadden-Paton as Bertie Pelham, Allen Leech as Tom Branson and Tuppence Middleton as Lucy Branson. I was glad to see Tom and Lucy married at the beginning, since I liked them in the first film.

I was disappointed Lady Mary’s husband Henry Talbot didn’t appear in the film since I was expecting him to turn up at the end, despite getting mentioned a few times. Maybe Matthew Goode wasn’t able to appear in the second film due to other commitments. Perhaps he’ll return in a third movie. 😐

There’s also Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Penelope Wilton as Isobel and Douglas Reith as Lord Merton, Isobel’s husband. Imelda Staunton returns to play Lady Maud Bagshaw in the film. Incidentally, Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton happen to be married in real-life. There’s even an in-joke about it in the film, which led me discover that fact after watching the film twice at the cinema.

Speaking of which, Jim Carter returns as Carson as well as Phyllis Logan as Mrs. Hughes. There’s Kevin Doyle as Molesley and Raquel Cassidy as Miss Baxter. I’m glad Molesley proposed to Miss Baxter in the film, as I was waiting for that to happen when watching the TV series). There’s Brendan Coyle as Mr. Bates and Joanne Froggatt as Anna. And there’s Michael C. Fox as Andy and Sophie McShera as Daisy. Apparently, Andy and Daisy got married in between the first and second films). 😀

Robert James-Collier returns as Thomas Barrow as well as Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore, who seems to be paired up with Paul Copley as Albert Mason, Daisy’s father-in-law. 🙂 There’s also Sue Johnston as Miss Denker, Violet Crawley’s lady-in-waiting. I’m wondering where the butler Spratt has gone to.

There’s also Charlie Watson as Albert, who a footman in the first movie. There’s Hugh Dancy as film director/producer Jack Barber, Dominic West as actor Guy Dexter and Laura Haddock (who was in ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ and the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ films) as actress Myrna Dalgleish. 🙂

Jonathan Coy appears as George Murray, the lawyer from the TV series and David Robb appears as Dr. Clarkson. Jonathan Zaccai and Nathalie Baye also appear in the movie as the French son and the French mother at villa in the South of France. It was nice to see Alex Macqueen as the sound engineer for the film being made at Downton, since he played the Master in Big Finish ‘Doctor Who’.

It was sad to see Maggie Smith’s Violet Crawley die at the end of the film, especially when the film had been so cheerful and featured happy endings for many of our characters. Thankfully, the film ends on a cheerful note, especially Tom and Lucy Branton visit Downton with their new-born baby. 🙂

‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ has been a worthwhile film to see on the big screen. Having seen the TV series and revisited the first film on Blu-ray, it’s nice to see how the progression of the characters has turned out, especially as the writing by Julian Fellowes and the cast’s performances are brilliant.

I don’t know if this is the definite end of ‘Downton Abbey’ or whether a third film will be made. If a third film is being considered, I wouldn’t mind seeing it at the cinema. Mind you, the film series is likely to get darker as time goes on, especially with moving into the 1930s and then into the Second World War.

Otherwise, this is a good place to end ‘Downton Abbey’ on a high note.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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