Downton Abbey: A New Era Movie Review

When Downton Abbey premiered more than a decade ago, it looked to be nothing more than your run-of-the-mill BPD (British Period Drama). Who knew that it would become a worldwide cultural phenomenon that still enthralls audiences?

Downton Abbey: A New Era hit theaters a few weeks ago. The film starts with the wedding of Tom Branson (Allen Leech) and Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton). After the ceremony, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) announces that she has inherited a previously unknown villa in the south of France. While Robert (Hugh Bonneville), Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), and most of the family travel to see this newest acquisition, Mary (Michelle Dockery) stays behind.

With the roof leaking, she has accepted an offer from a Director to use the Abbey as a film set. Jack Barber (Hugh Dancy) brings the glamour of Hollywood along with his lead actors: Guy Dexter (Dominic West) and Myrna Dalgleish (Laura Haddock).

The best word to describe the experience of watching this film is meta. This movie was made with so much love that it pours out of the screen. Julian Fellows brilliantly balances both the instinctive narrative and the wants of the audience. It’s not an easy task, given the expectations of the fanbase.

I’ve been a fan of the show since the first episode. I was not disappointed. It was everything I wanted and more.

My only qualm is that a little over 2 hours, it is just a tad long. However, Fellows gets a pass, given the number of storylines he has to balance.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Downton Abbey: A New Era is presently in theaters.

Flashback Friday: Dickensian (2015-2016)

Good writing has a way of setting the reader/audience’s imagination on fire as few things can.

The television series, Dickensian (2015-2016) takes the characters from within the individual books of Charles Dickens and weaves their lives together in 19th century London. Starring Tuppence Middleton, Stephen Rea, Alexandra Moen, and Tom Weston-Jones, the series asks the viewer to believe that all of these people know each other and interact as they go about their business.

The premise is certainly interesting. The cast is nothing short of top-notch. I’m not a huge fan of Dickens, but I can see where the spark of the idea came from. The problem is that the spark dies quickly. I stopped watching after a few minutes, left with a bitter taste of a narrative promise that was not kept.

Do I recommend it? No.

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