THough the Downton Abbey TV series had legions of fans during its six-season run, you don’t have to be one of them to enjoy Downton Abbey: A New Era,The second spin-off film from the series. The film is set in the final days of 1920s. A New EraThe Crawley family is distracted by two attractive prospects, which takes them away from their usual genteel rich-people lifestyle. Hugh Dancy is a film director who wants to make a motion picture featuring actual stars. Violet, Violet’s peppery mother (Maggie Smith), is willing to allow such infidelities. Violet is informed almost immediately that she inherits a villa south of France by her long-ago lover. Robert, Cora, and Elizabeth McGovern pack up the whole family and a wardrobe full of floaty silks.
Penelope Wilton, Maggie Smith Downton Abbey: A New Era
Ben Blackall—Focus Features
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There’s intrigue upstairs and down: Will Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) be loyal to her absentee husband or succumb to the attentions of a flirty swain? Robert James Collier (head butler Barrow) will he remain loyal to his job or take on the challenge of a lifetime. Director Simon Curtis (Woman In Gold)Julian Fellowes, the creator of this series, answers all these questions with feathery finesse.
If you don’t know all the characters, it’s easy enough to figure out who’s who as the story motors along. You don’t have to give up trying, because there is always the clothes. The clothes, oh the clothes Kimono jackets in Sonia Delaunay–worthy combos of tangerine and turquoise, cloaks adorned with languid silk tassels, chiffon blouses dotted with discreetly sparkly beads—because when you’re a genteel rich person, you can sparkle whenever you want, provided you do it in good taste. Downton Abbey: A New EraGoes down just as easily as a Nice Sunset
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