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Downton Abbey: A New Era[3] is the sequel film to the 2019 film was released on 29 April 2022 in the UK and on May 20, 2022 in the US.

Simon Curtis directed the sequel, replacing previous director Michael Engler.[2]

Synopsis

The family and the servants are reunited to prepare a trip abroad and a marriage was featured in the film.[3] The film is set in 1928, "nine months after the first one."[4]

Plot

It is 1928, one year since the end of the previous movie, and the film starts with a joyous occasion - the wedding of Tom Branson and Lucy Smith in a beautiful ceremony. Everyone is there from the upstairs & downstairs and they are all thrilled for the pair. They enjoy a lovely celebration after the ceremony.

Violet calls her family for a meeting to announce something very exciting - she has inherited a villa in the French Riviera from a man unknown to the family. Everyone is very confused as to why Violet was chosen as the recipient of the villa, including Violet, but nonetheless she is pleased about it. She decides that Tom's daughter Sybie will inherit the villa after her passing. Some members of the family (Edith, Bertie, Cora, Robert, Tom, Lucy and her mother, Maud Bagshaw) decide to go to France to see the villa and find out more about the mystery of the inheritance.

The Crawley family receives a request from the British Lion Company to use Downton Abbey as a filming location for their silent feature film. Robert Crawley does not seem pleased about the idea of a film crew and cast wandering around his home, but Mary reminds him that they could really use the money as the roof is leaking and there are a lot of costs to maintain their home. Robert leaves the decision in Mary’s hands and she agrees to let them come.

Downstairs, everyone is very excited by the idea of attending the filming of a real movie: Daisy and Anna find posters bearing the names of the two protagonists of the film: Guy Dexter and Myrna Dalgleish. Mrs Hughes breaks the news to her husband Carson, who is totally opposed to a decision of this magnitude. The housekeeper then decides, after also speaking with Lady Mary, to persuade Carson to go to France with the rest of the family, since remaining in Downton would only create problems for the production. Andy and Daisy got married (presumably in the span of time not visible in either the first or second film) and now live on Mr. Mason's farm. Both, especially Andrew, are not thrilled with their situation, as they would like to have a place of their own. Joseph Molesley arrives to Downton and excitedly announces to Miss Baxter that he will be present at the shooting of the film, if they let him. At the same time, production also arrives at the estate and several men work to get everything needed from the vans. Even the silent film cast arrives in style. The female lead in silent film is Cockney diva, Myrna Dalgleish. The male protagonist is the famous Guy Dexter. The servants are thrilled about their arrival, eager to wait on the famous stars to get closer to them. Mary seems pleased about the new excitement at Downton and she connects with the film’s director, Jack Barber. The family has time to get to know them the day before departure. Mary’s husband is unfortunately away, much to her disappointment, so she focuses her energy on the film and the director. That same evening, the family dines with Dexter and Miss Dalgleish: he is a gentleman, while she proves to be vain and arrogant. Dexter also "notes" the butler, Thomas Barrow.

The next day, the family leaves for France, accompanied by Lady Grantham's personal maid (Baxter), Carson and Lord Grantham's valet (Bates). During the voyage by ship, Carson feels unwell, but the arrival on the Côte d'Azur is certainly an awakening, for him and for everyone else. Here, they are greeted by a discontented Madame de Montmirail, who is not happy that her late husband has left his villa to another woman. His son, on the other hand, is very open to his guests and urges his mother to do the same.

Daisy gives many compliments to Miss Dalgleish, who is about to shoot a scene. She seems to listen, but she is not: she abruptly interrupts the assistant cook to begin work. Violet and Isobel watch the shoot and gasp at the sound of the clapperboard. Molesley accidentally bursts into the background and production is forced to start over. Violet claims she would never do such a job. Mr. Barber is evidently fascinated by Mary Crawley, although he hasn't said anything to her yet. He suggests that she go see a Myrna Dalgleish's movie at the cinema: she is a very famous actress, but Barber wants to point out to her crush that silent films are going out of fashion, so Myrna's films are also beginning to receive less attention.

In France, the family learns more and more about Violet's connection with the villa: it is revealed that in 1864 she and the Marquis of Montmirail spent an idyllic week together on the Côte d'Azur. However, Violet had recently married and did not want to jeopardize that circumstance. Since Robert was born in 1865, Madame de Montmirail's son implies that Robert Crawley may be his half-brother. Robert is agitated and furious at the thought that he may not be the son of the former Lord Grantham. Baxter and Bates, while the family visits the area, are also touring the Côte d'Azur. Carson does the same too, with the aim of buying a hat that protects him against the excessive heat of the Mediterranean sun. In a shop, he tries to make the vendor understand, with gestures, what he would like to buy, but he meets Maud Bagshaw, who knows French and helps him choosing a hat. Mrs Hughes has a conversation with Thomas Barrow. She has known about his homosexuality for years, so she offers to listen to what he has to say: he is sad because Richard Ellis, a man he met the year before, has written him a letter telling him he is getting married. The housekeeper understands the matter and consoles the butler. The production is forced to stop filming, as it takes note of the public's total loss of interest in silent films. Lady Mary, however, talks to Jack Barber and convinces him to call a technician from London to add voice acting to the already recorded scenes. The alternative would be Barber's failure and the end of the career of all the actors involved in the making of the film. Tom and Lucy are at the beach and are excited about young Sybbie, who will have a villa in such a beautiful place like the Côte d'Azur. Cora appears to be troubled by something and Edith notices it.

That same evening, Baxter, Carson and Bates are having a conversation. She states that Sybbie Branson is a very lucky child and Bates asks her if she is envious. Baxter denies it: it is a feeling that does not belong to her; she could still live happily even without a villa in the south of France. The two servants therefore come to understand what Baxter's prospects are. Carson asks if they are talking about Mr. Molesley and she confirms it: if he does not propose her she will remain a spinster: she would not marry anyone else: "It took me long enough to find him." The following day, Carson finds, in a window of the villa, a portrait of the Lady Grantham who had hired him when he was young: Violet. On it, it is written "Violet, mon adorée". He shows it to Edith, Bertie, Tom and Lucy.

Meanwhile, a London technician has arrived to Downton Abbey and everything is ready to dub the first scene. Dexter has an excellent voice, while Myrna is the opposite. Therefore it is proposed to Mary to dub her parts. She is embarrassed, but the production manages to distract Myrna during the recording. Shortly thereafter, however, Miss Dalgleish comes back to the room and realizes what is happening, so she takes a vase and breaks it, throwing it to the ground angrily. Molesley offers a wonderful ending to the film, which leaves Jack Barber and Mary Crawley mesmerized by the former waiter's talent. The director tells him to write down whatever he thinks is necessary. One night, the two talk about Matthew Crawley and Henry Talbot. Mary claims she loved Matthew deeply and says many nice things about him: if the car accident hadn't broken his life, she would still be happily married. She is now in love with Henry, and hopes it is still like that on his part. In France, an outdoor party is held in the garden of the villa. Music, singing and dancing brighten the atmosphere, but Cora continues to be troubled despite everything. Her daughter Edith asks her to at least talk about it with Robert. The countess, therefore, makes up her mind and goes to call her husband. She tells him that she may have cancer and may not have long to live. Robert is so upset he bursts into tears and she tries to comfort him, telling him that they weren't an unhappy couple, so they have to be grateful for having lived such a beautiful life alongside each other. They decide to go home earlier than expected and visit Dr. Clarkson.

At Downton, Myrna refuses to return to film as Lady Mary has replaced her in the dub and her career is in danger of ending, given her bad diction. They tried to get Myrna to stay on stage and make her mime the lines, which in the meantime would be voiced by Mary. Miss Dalgleish, however, could not stop talking as Dexter could and she was nervous, so she left the room to took refuge in the bedroom. Jack Barber can't get her out, so Anna and Daisy try: they know Myrna is one of them and that she belonged to the working class before making a career in film, so they may have more chances. By now their enthusiasm towards Myrna has dropped due to her arrogance, but they want to help her improve. The attempt is successful: Myrna is moved and tells Daisy, who convinced her to hold on with a lot of firmness and conviction, that she reminds her of her late sister, who died of Spanish flu. The Dalgleish, therefore, returns downstairs to try the scene again. The attempt, however, fails again: Lord and Lady Grantham, returned from France, exit through a door behind the croupier's table, which was purposely used for filming. The production and the family later have a drink in the lounge and converse: here, Myrna says she wants to work on her accent and gets help from Cora, who teaches her an American stamp. Tom and Lucy deliver the portrait found in the Montmirail villa to Violet, who has a nostalgic face; she is, however, happy for Branson and Lucy: she states that he was not exactly what they had in mind for Lady Sybil, but now that he is part of the family, it is a pleasure for her. Who would have told her she would become a driver's relative due to her marriage to her now deceased granddaughter Sybil? Violet knows, like everyone else, that she has only a few days left to live.

Guy Dexter goes to see Thomas: they had talked several times during the shooting, but now that the work is almost finished, he proposes to follow him to America. Thomas is flattered. Will it finally be for Thomas chance to have a real love story?

Dr. Clarkson tells Cora that she doesn't have cancer, as she feared, but a now treatable pernicious anemia. This news cheers her up and makes the rest of the family happy too. Meanwhile, Lucy tells Tom she is pregnant. Daisy suggests to Mrs. Patmore that Mr. Mason is in love with her, which she had already told Mr. Mason himself. In reality, neither of them has confessed their feelings, but it is evident that they are both in love. Jack Barber asks Lady Mary if she can kiss him: she is flattered and says she loved working with him, but she cannot give him what he expects. It is communicated that it is necessary to shoot a scene with a dozen people around the table in the dining room and the production proposes it to the servants, who are enthusiastic about the idea: they will wear nineteenth-century clothes in a room of his lordship the Earl of Grantham! Miss Denker, Lady Violet's personal maid who has been at Downton Abbey with her mistress for several days, refuses the offer. Baxter goes to warn Molesley, as she knows he will love the idea. Violet is in bed and talks to Isobel about her portrait as a young woman and the letter kept inside it: the Marquis de Montmirail wrote it to her. Robert also bursts into the room, with the aim of understanding his true origins: Violet reassures him. He is the son of the former Earl of Grantham.

Now it's time to shoot the scene in the dining room. Jack Barber announces to Molesley that he would like him to write plays for him: he is surprised but very happy with the idea. The servants are lush in their 1800s robes and some are almost unrecognizable. There are Mrs. Hughes, Carson, Daisy, Andy, Thomas, Anna, Bates, Mrs. Patmore, Mr. Mason. The latter two, sitting close together, are discussing they want to live together and want to leave the farm to Daisy and Andy. Mrs. Patmore also secretly took some wine to drink with him, since on the table there are only glasses with colored water. Two servants are missing: Baxter and Molesley: he meets her and is enchanted. They hold the following conversation, in one of the most iconic scenes of this film:

Baxter: Aren't you nervous?

Molesley: Well... how should a man feel when all his dreams have come true?

Baxter: All your dreams?

Molesley: I-I know. But you see, Miss Baxter...

Baxter: Phyllis!

Molesley: Phyllis. I felt ashamed. The best I could offer you was a poor life on a schoolmaster's salary!

Baxter: I'd have taken it.

Molesley: (Smiles). But now you won't have to. I'm gonna write plays to be made into films!

Baxter: For Mr Barber?

Molesley: For Mr Barber now, but who knows what is gonna happen if I'm any good at it! (Laughs. All the Crawleys and the servants are listening to everything by a director's microphone placed in the room where Baxter and Molesley are). For the first time I can offer I can offer a decent, prosperous life! For the both of us. So, what do you say? (Everyone is silent, even upstairs, excited, waiting for an answer).

Baxter: Are you not going to kneel? (Upstairs, they are now certain that they are listening to a marriage proposal).

Molesley: Do you want me to?

Baxter: (Excitedly smiles). I think so. It could never happen again.

Molesley: (Smiles). Right then, um... (He kneels and holds Baxter's hand). Will you marry me, Miss Baxter? I meant... Phyllis? (Everyone is anxiously waiting upstairs).

Baxter: (A few seconds later, with a happy voice). Yes! I jolly well will, Mr Molesley! (The two, now engaged, hear the applause upstairs and notice the microphone on the ceiling.) Now it's time to record the scene.

Later that evening, Thomas announces to Lady Mary that he is leaving with Mr. Dexter. She wishes him well, and hopes he will finally find his place in this cruel world. The other actors and producers leave too: Myrna greets the staff and thanks Anna and Daisy for their help.

Meanwhile, the Dowager Countess is in bed, very near death. Everyone rushes to see her for the last time before her last breath.

All the family and servants take part in the funeral of the iconic Dowager. The film ends with a new scene: about six months later, Lucy and Tom arrive at Downton Abbey with their newborn child and are happily welcomed. The last shot of the film shows a painting of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, hanging on the wall in the great hall.

Production

Sequel

Published 17th June 2021 on the Official Instagram account of Downton Abbey

Max Brown did not return in the film as Richard Ellis.[citation needed] The entire Downton cast are back for Downton Abbey: A New Era, with Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West joining.[3]

The movie was set for a Christmas 2021 release,[5][6] but was moved to Spring 2022,[7] presumably for competitive scheduling reasons. In late January 2022, the release dates were pushed further into Spring.[1]

Cast

Upstairs

Downstairs

New

Supporting cast

Media

Gallery

Videos

Trailers
Teasers (Focus Features)
Teasers (Universal Pictures UK)
Behind the Lens (Universal Pictures UK)

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 DEADLINE - ‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ Release Date Shifts To Early Summer By Anthony D'Alessandro January 26, 2022 9:00am
  2. 2.0 2.1 CNN - 'Downton Abbey' film sequel coming for Christmas By Lisa Respers France, Updated 9:49 AM ET, Mon April 19, 2021
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 DEADLINE - ‘Downton Abbey’ Sequel Gets A Title And Teaser Footage At CinemaCon By Nancy Tartaglione, Anthony D'Alessandro August 25, 2021 6:21pm
  4. British Period Dramas - Dominic West and Hugh Dancy’s exciting roles in ‘Downton Abbey’ sequel revealed 19th January 2022: direct quote from Elizabeth McGovern: "You see this clash of cultures when Hollywood meets Downton. A New Era is set in 1928, nine months after the first one, when ‘talkies’, as opposed to silent films, were just starting to be made and they’ve got all these Hollywood movie stars and the director of a talking movie staying at the Abbey."
  5. BBC - Downton Abbey: Film sequel set for Christmas release 19 April 2021
  6. The Guardian UK - Downton Abbey film sequel set for Christmas 2021 release by Catherine Shoard Mon 19 Apr 2021 10.38 EDT
  7. Variety - ‘Downton Abbey 2’ Pushed From Holiday Release to March 2022 Debut by Brent Lang Jul 2, 2021 11:32am PT

See also

External links

Other info
Icon-imdb-22x22 Downton Abbey: A New Era (2022) at the Internet Movie Database
Wp icon 16x16 Downton Abbey: A New Era
News


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