‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ to hit PH cinemas on May 18

Published May 17, 2022, 10:39 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

The historical film “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” written by Julian Fellowes, will be shown exclusively at select Ayala Malls Cinemas starting May 18.

It is the sequel to “Downton Abbey,” which was released in 2019 and grossed more than $192 million.

“Downton Abbey: A New Era,” directed by Simon Curtis, reunites the cast, which goes to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa.

“Downton Abbey: A New Era”

“Downton Abbey: A New Era”

“Downton Abbey: A New Era”

It stars Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, Penelope Wilton. Joining them are new cast members Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West.

Fellowes talked about the cast and plot of “Downton Abbey: A New Era.”

“At the end of “Downton Abbey: The Motion Picture” it was clear that Mary was really taking over as the boss at Downton and that’s a theme we go with throughout this second film. One of the jobs of being in a hereditary business is to accept that it is hereditary and there comes a time when your usefulness is diminished and the moment has come to hand on to the next generation,” he said.

He added, “Edith’s marriage to Bertie is going well and she has now given birth to a boy but in a rather modern sense, running Brancaster and motherhood is not quite enough for her. She needs an activity that draws on her brain and something outside the family unit. Cora and Robert’s job in the first film was to host the King and Queen, which they did with good grace. They both have a more difficult emotional journey in this film. I wanted to give all the characters more to do this time round and I am rather pleased with the way it turned out.”

In balancing drama and humor, Fellowes said, “The sort of comedy that I like is real-life comedy and in our day to day lives we all know people who are funnier than others. Those people have the gift of coming up with phrases that are funny but they don’t remove you from what’s going on around you so in that sense you can return to the truth of the narrative situation without any difficulty.”

According to him, “That is the level of comedy that sits well in an ongoing family saga like Downton and of course, for that, you need certain members of the cast to be talented with comedy lines. I was lucky with Maggie Smith, because I’d worked with her a few times before and the character I wrote that she played in “Gosford Park” was quite similar to Violet Grantham in “Downton.” Maggie has many gifts and one of them is that she can be very funny one minute, and two minutes later have you crying and she can shift gear without changing into someone else. She remains very true to the character.”

He said he wants people to enjoy “Downton Abbey: A New Era.”

“I want them to go to this movie, have a nice time – laugh and cry, then go out and have a decent dinner and get back home and feel they’ve had a really good evening. That’s my goal and if people ask is it enough to just entertain, then the answer is yes. I also hope that every now and then we can make them think about the disparity of backgrounds in an equal society, or make them think of the difficulties of being homosexual in a period when it was still illegal. We touch on those sorts of subjects but that’s not the prime purpose of the film. The purpose of the film is to give the audience a really good evening out,” he said.

“Downton Abbey: A New Era” will be available at the following Ayala Malls Cinemas: Glorietta4, Greenbelt 3, Bonifacio High Street, Ayala Malls Feliz, U.P. Town Center, Trinoma, Ayala Malls Vertis North, Marquee, Harbor Point, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu, Centrio, Ayala Malls Capitol Central, Ayala Malls The 30th and Ayala Malls Solenad.