Downton Abbey: A New Era review

The Downton Abbey franchise continues with Downton Abbey: A New Era. The family we love is back, the music of John Lunn returns, starting with a breathtaking introduction, and there is a new world of excitement. 

In Downton Abbey: A New Era, the characters we love return, including: Robert Crawley, played by Hugh Bonneville; Lady Mary, played by Michelle Dockery; Violet Crawley, played by Maggie Smith; Lucy Smith, played by Tuppence Middleton; Jack Barber, played by Hugh Dancy; Cora Crawley, played by Elizabeth McGovern; Imelda Staunton, played by Maud Bigshaw; and many more wonderful characters.

The year is 1929, when films are transitioning from silent movies to the “talkies”. For obvious reasons, this was a seismic innovation in film technology. And since I am a movie fanatic on many level, the focus on this era is one of the big reasons I loved this film so much.

The plot of Downton Abbey: A New Erainvolves the Crawley family journeying to the South of France to investigate the dowager’s countess’s newly inherited villa. The film has many revelations, new adventures, and new feelings for many of the characters we love. Lady Mary, whose husband is always away, feels she is falling in love with the director of a film being shot there. Maggie Smith delivers a lovely and fashionable performance as she did in the first film and the series.

Although much of Downton Abbey: A New Era will feel familiar, the Crawley family does, again, face new challenges and they cross new boundaries, bringing some unexpected excitement. So fans should be ready for some changes. But on balance it is a film of joyous adventures and heartfelt moments, and it is wonderfully moving. I loved its pace and how it enlightened a crucial era in cinema development, and I just loved the film overall. Three and a half stars for Downton Abbey: A New Era.


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