‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ Gets Meta With Film-Within-a-Film

This story contains spoilers for Downton Abbey: A New Era.

Downton Abbey: A New Era, The new sequel to the hugely popular historical drama, boasts a wedding, a birth, a death, a threat to the family bloodline — and of course, Thailand. post Violet Crawley (Dame Maggie Smith) shoot out dead zingers.

“Downton Abbey” Truly a gift that never stops giving. I can’t believe we’re going to make a second movie because it’s so hard to do,” Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Cora Crawley, at the film’s US premiere at the New York Capital Opera on Sunday. “We’ve been doing that for a long time, and to come up with an idea that gives a little new energy without sacrificing everything people love about it — that’s a big question. But [creator and writer] Julian [Fellowes] actually managed to do it. The movie is really funny, and then it packs an emotional punch. ”

The film hits theaters on May 20, and begins with the queen mother revealing that she has acquired a villa in the South of France following the death of a mysterious man from her past. To arrange the inheritance, she sent her son Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville), his wife Cora, her niece Edith (Laura Carmichael), Bertie, husband of Edith (Harry Hadden-Paton), Tom Branson (Allen Leech) – who married into the Crawley family after years of being their chauffeur — his new wife Lucy (Tuppence Middleton), and his mother-in-law, Lady Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton) to meet the family and find out why they abandoned this mansion.

Meanwhile, Mary (Michelle Dockery) stayed behind to oversee a film production company that came to Downton to make silent films — an arrangement the family reluctantly accepted only to raise money to repair Downton’s leaky roof. The servants downstairs were delighted to meet Hollywood actors, while the members upstairs had extreme disdain for the art of cinema. Robert calls the actresses “made-up made-up” and “actors just made-up”. The Queen Mother said she would rather “eat cobblestones” than watch a movie and added, “The best thing about movies is that you can’t hear them.”

“The upper class hasn’t really been involved in film or television for quite some time. They see it as working-class entertainment,” Fellowes said on the arrival carpet before the screening. “It was their children that put them in the film, and I always remember that from my own parents. My father used to say that he and my mother loved movies, but his parents’ generation did not. My father convinced his aunt to go to the movies with him and she absolutely found it odd. That was the inspiration for why the Crawleys didn’t like movies. ”

Movie plots in movies sometimes simulate the lives of the cast. Like the rest of Downton, The sequel was filmed at Highclere Castle, located in Newbury, England. Master of Highclere Castle, eighth The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, open their house for Downton Abbey TV series six seasons. “We now know how God and Lady Carnarvon feel every time Downton Abbey Bonneville said. “It’s become very meta-appropriate.”

McGovern also feels sorry for invading Carnarvons’ personal space. “Our neck hurts for the noble family that actually lives there. We visited all of them and they absolutely hated us,” she said cheerfully. “So it was fun to put that first and really exploit it for the movie. The noble family was not present with us. They withdrew hastily. The only time I saw the noble wife was when George Clooney came, and she was a lot around. Besides, she hangs out with her dogs. It really is an invasion. I don’t want a movie crew in my house, so I understand. ”

The cast finds it amusing to denigrate their real-life careers on screen. Bonneville said: “Robert finds it despicable that a movie is being made in Downton, and it’s fun to have to say such terrible and negative things. “I have to say we were terrible, horrible vagabonds, and all the actors were lazy, unreliable, and drunk — I think Julian Fellowes just hit a nail in the head! No, it was just for fun. ”

Joanne Froggatt, who plays the Lady’s maid, Anna Bates, enjoys in scenes where the queen mother is unleashing a flurry of insults and witty remarks about the making of the film. “Maggie’s lines are especially good because she’s so critical of and belittling the actors and filmmaking — but she’s an iconic actress and two-time Oscar winner. So hearing her say those insults really adds to the fun.”

In addition to the meta story, movie within movie, New era regarding a long-awaited marriage proposal between the beloved Mr. Molesley (Kevin Doyle) and Miss Baxter (Raquel Cassidy). “Actually I think it was a wonderfully timed moment because I know people have been wanting it for quite some time. And we were aware of that,” said Doyle. “It is lovely that it took so long, because they are very careful people. They don’t want to hurt each other, and it’s beautifully placed and beautifully written. ”

Cassidy added: “I’m really happy for the fans. “Julian really kept their relationship in front of them. Especially at the end of the other movie, there’s a moment where she basically says, ‘If you asked me, I’d say yes.’ But he was a man of his time, and so she had to be in that subtle yearning. But I’m so glad it finally happened! ”

Downton Abbey: A New Era also gives his only gay character some hope for the future. Butler Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier), who had a brief romance with the king’s royal attire in the first film, may have a new love. Movie star Guy Dexter (Dominic West) invites Barrow to be his own “butler” after the two share conversations inside Downton. Dexter insists that the setting can make “more or less” sense depending on Barrow’s liking, and it’s clear that he’s willing to travel the world and live happily ever after with the movie star.

“I’m glad Barrow has a happy ending,” said Phyllis Logan, who played Mrs. Hughes, the chief butler with whom Barrow often confided. “Between Mrs. Hughes and Barrow, they had frank conversations throughout the film, and she was clearly sympathetic to his plight. She worries about him. He will be mistreated if his sexuality is common sense and is likely to be jailed. For him to follow his path is a difficult one. He is who he is, but he is on a very harsh path in life. And now his path is the closest he has ever come to living an honest life. “

Giving Barrow a happy, but honest, ending was important to Fellowes. “Despite the difficulties that lie ahead, some people have found a way to compromise and that means they can live their lives. And I wanted it to be Thomas’ story,” said Fellowes. “In the end, he found a way to live that fit the society he found it to be. And I think that’s true. For me, representing the truth of the time was important. It was a very sad time. Displays of same-sex affection are punishable by life imprisonment.”

Another progressive storyline covered in the film is Edith slowly entering the workforce as a journalist, working at a social magazine, and confident that she can become a caring mother. unique. Carmichael said: “It’s completely possible for a woman to work and have a family and I was delighted when Edith realized she could still work. “I had just had a baby when we started filming, and I had that thought. It’s really cool to have that prospect and say, ‘You can do it!’ I love that she is working again. ”

Fans may not realize that Carmichael’s mate is Michael Fox, who plays Andrew Parker. He first appeared in the fifth season, remained on the show until it ended, and appeared in both series. “We share a few scenes from the movie, but we haven’t interacted yet. I don’t think we’ve ever acted together,” Carmichael said. “I am delighted to be sharing this experience with him.”

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/05/downton-abbey-new-era-premiere-movie-sequel ‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ Gets Meta With Film-Within-a-Film

Sarah Ridley

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