“Downton Abbey II: A New Era”
Big farewell at the Crawley home
In Downton Abbey II: A New Era, the lives of the Crawleys are tested with a visit, a journey and a farewell.
“Downton Abbey II: A New Era” opens in cinemas on April 28th. The British hit series “Downton Abbey” returns for the second time as a film sequel to the big screen. In the first part, a visit by King George to the home of the Crawley noble family caused a stir, this time it’s a film crew that spreads out on the property and causes a stir. In addition, part of the family sets out for southern France to clear up a family secret from the past.
“Downton Abbey II: A New Era”: That’s what it’s about
From 2010 to 2015, the British production “Downton Abbey” thrilled series fans worldwide. In 2019, viewers were once again taken to the Earl and Countess of Grantham’s family home, Downton Abbey, in the county of Yorkshire, and told the stories surrounding the staff and Lord Grantham’s (Hugh Bonneville) daughters. Julian Fellowes (72), who penned the series and the first film, was no different in the second part.
The recently formed bonds between Tom Branson (Allen Leech, 40) and Miss Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton, 35) lead to their marriage at the beginning of the film, which is set in 1928. There isn’t much time at the Downton house to celebrate the newlyweds. The family lawyer announces himself, who together with the head of the family, Dowager Downton (Maggie Smith, 87), has something to announce: Violet Grantham has inherited a villa in southern France from the mysterious Marquis de Montmirail, which she now sells to her great-granddaughter Sybbie wants to bequeath. Violet’s son Lord Grantham wants to see the property for himself and travels to the Côte d’Azur with part of the family. Once there, a nasty surprise raises many questions that only his mother can answer.
Meanwhile, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery, 40) holds the position as “Captain” on Downton. She is still concerned with the question of how the preservation of the family system can be secured. A generous offer from a film production company comes in very handy. Mr. Barber (Hugh Dancy, 46) arrives with his crew to shoot his silent film “The Gambler” in the stately home. The premises are turned upside down for this, which is not approved by every family member. The film’s stars Myrna Dalgleish (Laura Haddock, 36) and Guy Dexter (Dominic West, 52) also cause a stir and admiration from the domestic workers. But one innovation in the film business is causing problems for the director: sound films are competing with silent film productions. The project is in danger of failing when Lady Mary comes up with an idea.
“The new world” meets the tried and tested
Probably the biggest plus point of the film, as in the first part, is the reunion with the entire original cast of the series. The stories that are told, be it Tom Branson’s love happy ending or Thomas Barrow’s (Rob James-Collier, 45) search for same-sex love, picks up the fans in particular. In addition, the second film sequel brings with it all the “Downton Abbey” elements that were loved for over six seasons and in the first cinema work. The Crawley family shows once again how close they feel with their staff, who this time even have a special task towards the end of the film. The pointed-tongued and amusing dialogues and remarks of the servants and the Dowager Downton are not neglected this time, as is the backdrop of the imposing Crawley estate, which was once again highlighted at the beginning with the iconic title melody.
A certain tension runs through the film this time thanks to the two main storylines, the film production and the trip to France. On the one hand, there is a visual variety compared to the first part, since in addition to Downton Abbey, the opulent villa and the southern French savoir-vivre offer impressive canvas pictures. On the other hand, the film production provides exciting insights into the turning point in the industry from silent to talkie and offers space for new faces in the Downton universe, above all the stars of the film, convincingly played by Laura Haddock and Dominic West. The modern Hollywood of the time finding its way into the venerable Downton Halls provides a stark contrast and “the new world” provokes amusing reactions from conservative family members such as Lord Grantham.
The second part of the “Downton Abbey” sequel is above all a lover’s film and a gift to the fans of the series, who can once again immerse themselves in the feel-good world of the Crawleys and their servants. The clocks on Downton have always seemed to tick slower, but this time the signs of the times are affecting the family. A big farewell and a new addition to the family could leave viewers with mixed feelings and end up feeling sad and forgiving at the same time. A new era has definitely heralded Downton – whether the audience will be able to experience this in a third film is not yet known. What is certain is that a new plant would be poorer by a large part of Downton.