Hollywood is the ultimate dream factory, and I need dreams as much as the next man, says Molesley (Kevin Doyle) in : A New Era. It is a line that reveals the second filming effort: to follow the dream factory tradition. So the wishes of many a familiar character are granted over the course of two hours, along with plenty of drama.
The sequel, directed and written by Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn), will begin in 1928, with the wedding of Tom Branson (Allen Leech) and Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton). It's a chance to reunit key characters in their finery, further blurring the boundaries between the "upstairs" and "downstairs."
Violet Crawley () has inherited a villa in the South of France, but a film crew is planning a film at Downton Abbey, according to Mr Molesley. Although Daisy (Sophie McShera) is beside herself at the thought of seeing real-life films, she's in for a regret. Not only is this silent-film star terribly rude, but her vocal is also notably opposed to her on-screen appearance.
The talkies are approaching, and the production is in danger. If you think a film-within-a-film is about as meta as Downton Abbey can get, chances are that Carson (Jim Carter) and Maud (Imelda Staunton) are mistaken for their husband and wife, giving them a wink.
The film evokes a similar escapism to those in the United Kingdom, with actors such as Anna Mary Scott Robbins and Judy Cooper making the most of a climate change. Back in Downton, Thomas Barrow (Dominic West, having a ball) highlights her journey towards matriarchy as Violet declines.
Maggie Smith excels in her seemingly willing co-stars while he prepares for the pandemic. "I'd rather earn my living down a mine," she adds, revealingly, after one of Myrna's critics. This is a film aimed at people who are keen to support them. More poignant moments are so far as to highlight a few limited references to the pandemic, suggesting that the Downton residents are not the only ones who have lost their relatives and had
A New Era has crammed a lot into its run time, and its manipulations can be quite transparent. But it's difficult to resent them when it so clearly fulfills its mission. After all, as Molesley says: We all need dreams.