DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA – Review by Gadi Elkon

The iconic melody, by composer John Lunn, awakens the minds and hearts of so many of us Downton devotees.  The Abbey assemblage is back on the big screen and now with a Hollywood twist.  Here is Gadi’s full review of the latest Julian Fellows’ tale of Downton Abbey.

From award-winning creator Julian Fellowes comes the motion picture event DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA. The much-anticipated cinematic return of the global phenomenon reunites the beloved cast as they go on a grand journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa.

The Dowager Countess aka the always game Maggie Smith sees her journey reach new lands.  A New Era dives back into the wonders of how a young Countess impacted her way through life and the unique ramifications of her affections.  Julian Fellows crisp fluid dialog continues to allow the fine ensemble of Downton players to weave another fantastical fable.  Maggie’s moments are truly fascinating in this film for we see a weirdly sentimental and aware version.  This kinder side to the infamous cantankerous countess is illuminating on so many facets to the allure of the family.  And yet Fellows’ story wonderfully weaves in all the favorite and now new additions to the Abbey identity.

Fans of the show will delight but what makes this film seems so fresh is that it holds truths that are universal.  The yearning for expansion and knowing one’s true self are evident in the plot points.  Non-fans or newbies will relish, just as much as us die-hards, in the continued spiraling of the cast.  The story revolves around the countess revelation but is hugely impacted by a new set of guests to the lavish abode.  A film crew is filming one of the last silent movies in the hallowed grounds.  Dominic West’s handsome Guy Dexter is quite important for he forever changes Thomas Barrow’s trajectory in life.  But their connection is merely one of many touching elements of this addition to the Downton legacy.  I won’t dive to deep, but the series is fully changed with the events in this film.

The transition to the big screen has not taking away any of the attraction from the series.  In fact, the heightened stakes of big budget movies have amplified the Downton world.  Simon Curtis’ direction is truly wonderful as he seems to perfectly fit in so much in just 2 hours.  I loved it and I think you will to.

So get dressed up and take an evening (or day) to the cinema to see our favorite figures bring another entertaining tale in the Downton universe.


Directed by: Simon Curtis

Written by: Julian Fellows

Rated: PG-13

Selig Rating: 4.5 Stars

Running Time: 2h 5min

Drama / Romance

In Theaters this Friday May 20th

Starring:  Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Harry Hadden-Paton, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Tuppence Middleton, Lesley Nicol, and Maggie Smith


The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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