Rejoice, Downtonians! Downton Abbey: A New Era is a worthy entry in Julian Fellowes' beloved franchise. You were right to be concerned, of course. The acclaimed TV drama's first foray onto the big screen, 2019's Downton Abbey , felt like a glorified holiday special; it's no surprise that Parasite , the far superior take on the same Upstairs, Downstairs premise, completely overshadowed it in terms of cultural significance. And the fact that Focus Features twice postponed A New Era , from December 2021 to March and then to May, wasn't exactly reassuring. But the sequel manages to rekindle that old feeling right from the opening frames, set to the same John Lunn score that dependably sent chills through Viewers Like You many a Sunday, just the way Alabama 3's "Woke Up This Morning" did to fans of The Sopranos —only this time Downton does so without Laura Linney's intro. Violet (Maggie Smith), the Dowager Countess, comes into possession of a villa in the south of France left by her old flame, the Marquis de Montmirail, whose widow (Nathalie Baye) vows to contest his will in court. Unexpectedly, the Montmirails invite the Crawleys to visit. For some reason, the ordinarily pasty… Read full this story
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