A new era” finds its flavor of English candy, even in France

And two! Downton Abbey II: A New Era by Simon Curtis continues the Crawley saga in the heart of the 1920s. While part of the family stays at the castle to welcome a film crew, the other goes to the Côte d’Azur to meet the Montmirails (Jonathan Zaccaï and Nathalie Baye) whose patriarch bequeathed a superb villa to Lady Violet (Maggie Smith).

Outdated and fantasized

“As the whole team has known each other for more than ten years, the family atmosphere spread on the set,” explains the director. Simon Curtis is well placed to know: Elizabeth McGovern, his wife in the city, is that of Hugh Bonneville alias Lord Crawley in the films and the series. All these little people, masters and servants, continue their lives under the leadership of Julian Fellowes, creator of this universe with the flavor of English candy.

“British and foreigners find there an outdated and perhaps a little fantasized England, admits Simon Curtis. We visit a world whose codes seem simpler than the one in which we live. Even if it does not correspond to reality, it feels good. Fans of the series will obviously be delighted to reconnect with their favorite characters, but the whole thing is sufficiently well written for neophytes to enjoy on either side of the Channel.

“The French part allows the heroes to get away from it all in a magical setting and to make them meet new protagonists, insists Simon Curtis. And the English part is a tribute to the 7th Art which shows how the advent of talkies has changed the lives of silent actors and actresses. To pay for the repair of their roof, the Crawleys receive stars and technicians for the time of a shoot that sows panic all the way to the office. Especially since newcomers can be charming but also downright rude or even intrusive.

“We wanted to make people smile, insists Simon Curtis, but I recognize that this film also has a sadder aspect which corresponds to the real life of a family. It marks the end of an era. » It is too early to know whether Downton Abbey II: A New Era will be followed by a third part. The quality and the charm of this second opus make it really hopeful as we are sad to leave the Crawleys, their relatives and their servants after a very moving final scene.

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