Downton Abbey: A New Era

Downton Abbey: A New Era
Original title:Downton Abbey: A New Era
Director:Simon Curtis
Running time:125 minutes
Release date:20 may 2022
1928. The Crawleys and their servants are all attending the wedding of Tom Branson and Lucy Smith, daughter of Lady Bagshaw. Lord Grantham explained to his family that the family solicitor would soon be visiting Downton at the request of the Dowager, and that he expected them all to attend. Indeed, Violet has inherited a villa in the South of France which she wishes to leave to Lady Sybil and Branson's daughter. But this decision makes him uncomfortable. Without understanding why the late Marquis de Montmirail was so generous to his mother, Lord Grantham receives an intriguing phone call: a Mr. Barber, a film director, wants to shoot his new silent film, The Gambler, at Downton Abbey.

Jennifer's Review

The lights dimmed and from the very first notes of the music that has become so evocative to all Downton fans we were transported back to the world of Downton Abbey and 1928. We were delighted as each member of the cast appeared on screen, as they’ve all grown so dear to us, a dear family we’ve begun to feel a part of.  

This time the intrigue took us from Downton Abbey to the south of France, to a sumptuous villa left to the Dowager Duchess by a French marquis for mysterious reasons and which she generously decides to leave to Syble.  Part of the family, led by Lord Grantham, are invited to visit and decide to find out why.  The panoramic shots of not only the scenery around Downton but also the beautiful Mediterranean were a real delight.

In the meantime, Mary is taking the reigns of Downton and receives a proposition she can’t refuse, one that will see the tables well and truly turned at the manor. The ladies’ maids save the day and give us a beautiful example of female solidarity.  The Dowager continues to reign over all and one can’t help but think of an actual Royal Legend during the film. 

The film also teaches us about the transition between making silent movies and the first ‘talkies’, an era many of us won’t remember or know anything about.  The remainder of the film gave us a real feeling of tying up loose ends, of putting everything back in its place where it belongs.

Whilst the prospect of another film is really appealing and when the credits roll the only question on our lips is “what will the family do next?”, maybe some things are best left to the imagination. Nevertheless, Julian Fellowes, if you’re reading this, please do tell us. All in all the film was a real treat and one we highly recommend going to see.

Downton Abbey: A New Era
Directed by Simon Curtis
Written by Julian Fellowes
Based on Downton Abbey by Julian Fellowes
Produced by Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge
Starring  Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan
Cinematography : Andrew Dunn
Edited by Adam Recht
Music by John Lunn
Production company : Carnival Films
Distributed by, Focus Features (United States), Universal Pictures (International)
Release dates : 25 April 2022 (Leicester Square), 27 April 2022 (France), 29 April 2022 (United Kingdom), 20 May 2022 (United States)
Running time : 125 minutes

Seen on April 21, 2022 at the Paris Universal Pictures Screening Room

Jennifer's Mark: