Reviews Joyce Glasser Downton Abbey: a new eraa (April 29, 2022) Cert PG, 125 min.

Explore Crowley’s extended family tree and family of servants, and then sit back and see how Julian Fellows manages to give each of them a story within a story with a neat, happy and usually sentimental ending. Fellows reunited with Countess Grantham’s real husband (Elizabeth McGovern), director Simon Curtis (Goodbye, Christopher Robin, my week with Marilyn) to squeeze the entire TV series into a chic, beautifully dressed and decorated two-hour feature film.

To do this, Fellows does Downton Abbey: A New Era which will definitely be the most intense and tasteless film of the year. Fellowes needs the same solid architectural framework as the abbey itself, which will house all the sub-plots and their respective emotions and cathartic culminations.

To implement its grand design, we have two parallel common threads. First, the Crowley family is reluctant to allow a film crew led by charming handsome director Jack Barber (Hugh Darcy) to capture Downton because a generous accommodation fee would buy them a new roof for the attic bedrooms that are leaking.

This terrible inconvenience coincides with a letter received from the estate of the late Marquis de Montmiral, who died leaving a posh, luxurious Côte d’Azur villa to Violet Crowley, Countess Grantham’s widow (Maggie Smith, still delivering a spicy piece of liner and best).

The widowed countess leaves the villa of Sibi, her great-granddaughter from the short (and at the time scandalous) marriage of driver Tom Branson (Allen Leach) and rebellious lady Sybil Crowley. For Sibi Branson was forgiven, and Lady Maud Bagshaw’s illegitimate daughter (Imelda Staunton, wasted) Lucy (Tuppence Middleton) marries Branson’s widower, thus becoming part of the Crowley family, one step away.

Both of these incidents cause panic in the family, but apparently the mystery of what happened between the heiress Violet and the young marquis in 1864 occupies the usually steadfast Robert Crowley, 7th Early Grantham (Hugh Bonville). He estimated that he was born about nine months later in 1865.

Naturally, Robert and his wife Cora (McGovern) rush down the Riviera with an entourage that includes Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle), mainly to prevent him from controlling the film’s guests who turn out to be a rebellious group. Riviera’s entourage also includes Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), the dumbest of Crowley’s children, who is married to the dumbest of Crowley’s sad husbands, but, unlike Mary’s second husband, who was absent, Lady Edith is perfect.

The warm welcome of the new Marquis de Motmiral (Jonathan Zacai) cools the open hostility of his mother, played by the great French actress Natalie Bae in a rare appearance. This will help secure European interest, perspectives, and the dramatic Mediterranean landscapes that Bali Hai is.

The intrigue that revolves around a cache of letters and an early photograph of young Violet with a love inscription from the late Marquis, makes Robert tormented as to whether he, who hosted the King of England, is the Frenchman’s illegitimate son. There’s very little tension, and no one but Robert and Motmerail really cares, but nonetheless, the matter isn’t resolved until the house gathers near the widower’s death bed (it’s hardly a spoiler, people when Maggie Smith turned 87) . Meanwhile, his wife Corey also has a big secret, but it’s also, at least until the next issue, turns out to be a little red herring.

More interesting, however, again, nothing comes out, is the sub-plot around Lady Edith’s return to her letter. She suggests writing an article about foreigners who spend the winter on the Riviera and keep hotels open, including about Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. But unfortunately, we are denied the pleasure of seeing Lady Edith attending a drunken orgy with Hemingway while discussing a recently published Ulysses with James Joyce or getting writing advice from Gertrude Stein.

Downton Abbey 2

This is the direction of the film crew, which manages to give most servants time in the spotlight and the opportunity to improve their lives. Jazz singer The year 1927 and the passion for cinemas changed everything, including, in the middle of production, the funding of Baxter’s film. Mary, wanting to help Baxter and her new roof, comes up with the idea to turn the film into a conversation.

For those hoping for something original, this is Julian Fellows ’chance Sing in the rain to the British aristocracy, but without dancing. Servants come in as extras, and former maid and schoolmaster Joseph Mosley (Kevin Doyle) reveals his hidden talents as a screenwriter.

But Lady Mary finds her voice in the literal sense when director Baxter, who falls in love with his master, convinces her to give voice to the beautiful but temperamental Mirna Dalglish (Laura Haddock), whose piercing cockney accent is a challenge. However, it is Downton Abbey, where staff are as helpful and kind as aristocrats, Anna Bates (Joan Froggat) and Daisy Parker (Sophie McShera) have a serious conversation with the obscene Mirna before Countess Grantham returns to strengthen her confidence by helping Peaceful. master the American accent.

And just in case you miss the gay theme in the 2019 feature film, Tom Barrow (Robert James-Collier) catches the eye of morning idol Guy Dexter (Dominic West), whose name is not the only thing in it. secret.

Drowning under its own plots, no drama can breathe and become real. Fellows and Curtis fill the last third of the film with a long series of unearned payouts as each character’s little problem is happily solved. Until then, there are enough luxurious scenery, places and costume periods for us to watch.

Buried under the weight of subplots are sumptuous costumes, locations – and Maggie Smith.

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