Film evaluation: “Downton Abbey: A New Period”

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Film evaluation: “Downton Abbey: A New Period”


A marriage, a delivery, that attractive home (by no means thoughts the leaky roof). Some sunshine, too! Extra bone-dry quips from Maggie Smith. And oh, the garments — silks and satins, tulles and tiaras. What might go unsuitable?Why, nothing, in fact! Would YOU mess with the “Downton Abbey” method?This second Downton function movie is technically known as “Downton Abbey: A New Period,” however might simply as nicely be known as “Downton Abbey: Actually Extra of the Similar However Barely Later” — and that might be completely positive with the adoring followers of this endlessly sturdy six-season TV collection. They flocked to the primary movie in 2019, they usually’ll flock to this movie, too, which is lighter, funnier and nothing if not clear in its goal — giving a loyal viewers an excellent time. After a couple of years of pandemic life, that would come with extra actual property to ogle, extra stolen glances and hidden yearnings amid the interval furnishings, extra beautiful classic garments (no, we shan’t cease speaking in regards to the garments) and a few completely happy endings. And extra Maggie, in fact.

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So as to add a splashy bow on high, there’s a go to to Downton from a Hollywood film crew, and a household subject journey to the French Riviera. Dishy actors Hugh Dancy and Dominic West convey slightly romance, and French movie vet Nathalie Baye brings the sort of icy hauteur solely the French can hope to muster.As for the swath of moviegoers unfamiliar with the present — oh, them! — that’s one other story. For many who don’t know their Sybils from their Ediths, or can’t sketch a Crawley household tree on the fly, the movie makes no actual effort to clarify the background, and with a ready-made viewers, the creators probably felt no want. (There are useful refresher movies on YouTube if you happen to actually need to do some homework.)Reliably (if not subtly) written by collection creator Julian Fellowes and directed this time by Simon Curtis (enjoyable reality: husband of Elizabeth McGovern, aka the beloved Cora Crawley), the movie begins in 1928, 9 months after we left off.It’s enjoyable to observe the film-within-a-film unfold, particularly because it impacts the starstruck servants, who find yourself enjoying extra of a task than anticipated. Additionally sudden is the spot of bother that arises when the movie hits monetary woes: silent movies are on the way in which out, and the “talkie” is the brand new huge factor. However Myrna, alas, has a Cockney accent that gained’t fly — simply take heed to her say the phrases “high fashion.”As for Violet, she’s predictably unimpressed by Hollywood, however ever-practical. “We acquired via the warfare,” she pronounces. “We will get via this.” Film performing fills her with contempt, although: “I’d somewhat earn a dwelling down a mine.”Effectively, fortunately for us, Smith doesn’t earn her dwelling down a mine. At 87, she’s nonetheless the perfect cause to maintain coming again. Ultimately, “A New Period” is a misnomer of a title — not a lot has modified, which truly could also be the perfect reward to “Downton” followers. After a tricky couple of years, you may do worse than this, the newest in what could find yourself being a line of sequels so long as the Crawley bloodline.

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