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‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ doesn’t disappoint as beloved characters evolve

Harry Hadden-Paton stars as Bertie Pelham, Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith, Tuppence Middleton as Lucy Smith and Allen Leech as Tom Branson in Downton Abbey: A New Era.

Harry Hadden-Paton stars as Bertie Pelham, Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith, Tuppence Middleton as Lucy Smith and Allen Leech as Tom Branson in Downton Abbey: A New Era.

Published Apr 29, 2022

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From award-winning creator Julian Fellowes comes the much-anticipated motion picture event, which reunites the beloved cast as they go on a grand journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa.

“Downton Abbey: A New Era” tells a dramatic, emotional and moving story that fans cannot afford to miss.

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We see our favourite characters evolve and also learn more about how the family has adapted to the ever-changing times.

Sharing the experience of watching “Downton Abbey: A New Era” with others in a cinema was wonderfully joyous.

It is very difficult to review “Downton Abbey: A New Era” as a standalone or even as a typical sequel.

Those who have been fans and watched all six seasons of the show, the Christmas specials and now the movies, makes it fairly difficult to just see the latest movie as just a movie.

If you have never watched “Downton Abbey”, then this movie will mean very little to you and you should not even attempt to watch it. However, if you have spent years with these characters then every minute is utterly enjoyable.

While the show is also known for its humour, the movie “Downton Abbey: A New Era” feels like it has turned up the comedy, while definitely not skipping out on the heart and the drama that makes it so special.

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Julian Fellows has to be commended for his ability to tell a spiralling story but with enough efficiency that no moment overstays its welcome.

Sometimes in the show, moments felt like they would cut away too quickly but the movies haven't had that issue. We get to see the continuous evolution in the story and characters but still expanding the scope to make the experience feel worthy of a movie budget.

Sharing the experience with others in a cinema adds to the enjoyment. You’re having a communal experience with people who enjoy the show as much as you, and that is very enriching.

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We get to see the continuous evolution in the story and characters but still expanding the scope to make the experience feel worthy of a movie budget. Picture: Screengrab

The only glaring absence is that of Mary's husband, Henry Talbot, who is portrayed on screen by Matthew Goode.

It has been reported that Goode was too “busy” to make an appearance due to his commitment to biographical miniseries “The Offer”. Goode’s absence is however made up for with addition of Hugh Dancy.

Dancy comes to Downton as Jack Barber, a director who films a movie at the lavish house. Dancy is a very talented actor, and if anything, it makes you want to see more of him in such a world.

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Fingers crossed, he may pop up in Fellows’ new show “The Gilded Age”, which feels like a American companion show.

“Downton Abbey” fans should note that the show is very different in tone, but after you acclimate, it is just as fun to watch.

One thing that devoted fans will love about the movie is the mention of characters who have come and gone over the course of the show, and also the growth that Mary and Edith have shown.

These two characters have always been at odds with one another and, in this movie, it was wonderful to see the two characters reach a point where they are sisters.

Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary. Picture: Screengrab

“Downton Abbey: A New Era” stars Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Harry Hadden-Paton, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Tuppence Middleton, Lesley Nicol, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, Penelope Wilton, Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye, Dominic West and Jonathan Zaccaï.

Rating: 9/10

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