Andrea’s film review – Downton Abbey – A New Era

Downton Abbey – A New Era ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

Follow-up to the 2019 feature film in which the Crawley family and Downton staff received a royal visit from the King and Queen of Great Britain. On in Cinemas, including Chiswick Cinema.

Downton Abbey ran between 2010 and 2015 and was one of the most nominated TV series in history as well as one the most successful British costume dramas ever to grace our TV sets.

Given the massive success of the series, the first film in 2019 seemed inevitable.

And the same must now be said of this second film.

Downton Abbey’s – The New Era does exactly what you’d expect from it. For every fan, this is a real warm bath. Just like in the first film, the plot is pretty thin and fairly clunky, the stakes are very low and this is clearly all just an excuse to get everybody back, get them to do what they do best and have another stab at it, trying to milk this cow as much as they possibly can.

In the first movie was orchestrated around a Royal visit and now in the second there’s a slightly pointless trip to France and a film crew coming to make a film at Downton. That’s pretty much it. A chance for a few jokes at the expenses of French people and some fun movie-making sequences ripped off from Singin’ in the Rain.

All the usual elements that people loved are back: the sweeping music, the huge cast, the array of costumes, the soapy dialogue, the ultra-British quips (the always wonderful Maggie Smith still has the best lines). All served on a glamorous silver dish and wrapped up in the frothiest confection.

This isn’t Gosford Park and it’s not really trying to make any big statements about social class or anything meaningful like that. At this stage of the game, everything has already been said. So just enjoy the ride for what it is.

I have to confess I’m only a casual viewer when it comes to Downton Abbey. I know… Shame of me. I missed the train when the original series was first broadcast and even though I’ve been trying to catch up with it for a very long time (I even got the Blu ray sets), with everything else coming out these days, I’m struggling to find the time to go through all the 56 hours in total.

While I’m sure I must have missed a lot of the inside jokes and tiny references which most Downton aficionados will instantly get, I was still able to enjoy the film.

It is clearly a film that has very few reasons to exist except to please its fans and give them another tour through the upstairs and downstairs of the Crawley family’s estate, and that’s fine.

If you’re a fan, you’ll love it. If you haven’t been following it from the start, some of the characters’ appearances will just wash over you, but you’ll still get the gist of it.

It’s all rather unnecessary and inconsequential in the big scheme of things, except for the ending which I won’t spoil here (even though you can see it coming from miles away) but which will surely prove to be a very moving affair for fans.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick

Downton Abbey – A New Era is on in cinemas now.

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

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