Downton Abbey: A New Era is a historical drama and the sequel to the 2019 film Downton Abbey. Both films were written by Julian Fellowes, the creator, and writer of the television series of the same name, with the sequel being directed by Simon Curtis, replacing Michael Engler who directed the first film. Like the first film, Downton Abbey: A New Era received generally positive reviews from critics. As one of my favorite movies, A New Era didn’t disappoint. I loved this movie!
Downton Abbey begins in 1928 with Earl of Grantham’s widowed son-in-law, Tom Branson (Allen Leech), marrying Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton), Lady Bagshaw’s secret illegitimate daughter, and sole heir to the Bagshaw estate. Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith), the Dowager Countess of Grantham, reveals that long ago, the recently deceased Marquis de Montmirail gave her a villa that she intends to bequeath to her great-granddaughter, Sybbie (Fifi Hart), who is Tom’s daughter with the late Lady Sybil Crawley.
Meanwhile, a film production company requests the use of the Downton estate for a silent film called The Gambler. (Robert Crawley) Hugh Bonneville, who is the 7th Earl of Grantham, and his former now retired butler (Jim Carter) Mr. Charles Carson disapprove, but Robert’s eldest daughter and estate manager, (Michelle Dockery) Lady Mary Talbot, notes the income would sufficiently cover replacing Downton’s leaking roof. Also, most members of the household staff are eager to see, as well as meet, the film stars. Marquis de Montmirail (Jonathan Zaccaï), son of the late Marquis de Montmirail invites the Branson family to visit France. The ailing Violet is unable to travel, but Tom and Lucy, Lady Maud Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton), Robert Crawley (Lord Grantham), and his wife, Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), and their daughter Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) and her husband, Herbert “Bertie” Pelham (Harry Hadden-Paton), Marquess of Hexham), accept the invitation. Lady Mary decides to remain at Downton to oversee the filming.
This version of Downton Abbey was well written and brilliantly acted. There was much humor which was relevant given Maggie Smith’s condition. For me, the story was one of love and charity with a wonderful ending. I’m not sure if there will be any sequels to Downton Abbey but I do know if there are not, the series went out with a bang. Mystery, suspense, romance, accusations, and adventure were not in short supply. The story tied up all loose ends. I truly loved the film. As of 31 May 2022, Downton Abbey: A New Era has grossed $31 million in the United States and Canada and $41.2 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $72.2 million. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 85% of 168 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The website’s consensus reads, “While Downton Abbey‘s frothiness comes close to curdling into outright suds, A New Era‘s familiar comforts will please longtime fans.” All the old cast was featured in this sequel along with some new faces. The film director and film cast of The Gambler were exciting and brought a humorous facelift to Downton. I recommend Downton Abbey: A New Era to all, as this film is a refreshing antidote to the current events of today. Downton Abbey: A New Era is currently in theaters — Check It Out!