Back with a sequel, in film speak, Downton Abbey a New Era is almost perfect. Almost.
Downton Abbey: A New Era (2022) Film Review
No stranger to change, the occupants of Downton Abbey again encounter shifts. Never believing he’d love again, Tom Branson (Allen Leech) has just married Lucy (Tuppence Middleton), the woman who took him by surprise. Off on a trip together, they leave Tom’s daughter Sybbie with her grandparents and cousins, who receive surprising news of their own. Matriarch Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith) gathers her children and granddaughter to tell them, she owns a villa in France. Surprised to say the least, this causes son Robert (Hugh Bonneville) to ask, why did a stranger, a man who once knew his mother, leave her a villa?
Meanwhile, a production company approaches the family about filming in their home. Robert opposes, while daughter Mary (Michelle Dockery) is rather curious. While she and Edith (Laura Carmichael) make plans for the crew and cast to use their home, elsewhere travel plans get underway. While the crew is left to manage in Mary’s capable hands, Edith and her husband, the new Mr. and Mrs. Branson along with Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) and Robert make their way to France!‘DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA’: THE MOVIE THAT’S LIKE A HUG #MICHELLEDOCKERY #LADYMARY #DOWNTONABBEYANEWERA #DOWNTONABBEY #PERIODDRAMA #PERIODROMANCE #ROMANCE Click To Tweet
Returning to the hallowed halls of a favorite armchair location is kind of like a warm hug. This is quite true of Downton Abbey a New Era. In addition to the upstairs lives of the family, we also see many of our beloved favorite downstairs faces return. This includes newlywed Daisy (Sophia McShera) who is dealing with some familial challenges; Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and Bates (Brendan Coyle) continue to be happy and raising their young son; Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) has a secret crush; then Mosley (Kevin Doyle) has a talent no one expects from him; and of course, Carson (Jim Carter) finds too many cannot manage to do things in the proper fashion. Of course, alongside all these faces, are many other familiar ones. Some of the new actors coming in includes Hugh Dancy and Laura Haddock.
However, I do have a bugaboo about a character or two. One thing I miss about the connections this go round, it’s that the separation of everyone seems to mean that no one gets a great deal of good story time. Branson doesn’t have nearly enough screen time and I do miss Henry’s presence. While I appreciate Mary’s reaction to the potential of something, I also think given her relationship (from earlier) with Henry, some of her feelings are sad. That said, overall, the film is sweet.
There’s plenty of lovely moments even with the near impossibility of keeping things more condensed (across two locations). Even with that, it is fun to see the gang in France and a cinematic story. The costuming is lovely, and needs no more said than that. There are heartwarming moments (that one scene between Robert and Cora is beautiful); plus a proposal you’ve perhaps been waiting for. In between the joy is also a bittersweet change that means Downton will never quite be the same again. Though, whether a third film could happen is quite up in the air. If I’m remembering right from the opening week headlines, this film did extremely well for Focus Features. However one of its stars, Hugh Bonneville, has been quoted as saying he believes it’s come to an end.
If this is the end of this Crawley era, I am glad they are left with reason to smile. Nonetheless, I would not oppose seeing more so long as those smiles don’t go away.
You can find Downton Abbey a New Era digitally on Amazon Video
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Content: there is really nothing to note in this PG film. Minor suggestive remarks crop up once or twice. There is some implication and conversation (vague) about a character who likes the same sex. An implication later suggests they find a lover, and he also mentions someone else he once had affection for.
Photos: Focus Features