Downton Abbey 2: A New Era Still Has Something To Say

The time for Downton Abbey fans to reunite came towards the end of May with the release of the second film in the series.

Initially, it had been scheduled for a December 2021 release, but COVID-19-related shutdowns forced Focus Features to push the film’s opening date back to the spring. When the last movie came out in 2019, it had many fans sitting at the edge of their seats, anxious and already anticipating the arrival of the second film.

Now that it is here, fans are confused by the ending. Although the film's end does not have any ending credits, it leaves some room for interpretation. Some parts may have left you hanging that could point towards a third film. Will there be a third movie in the series?

Everything you need to know about A New Era is in full spoiler detail.

The Setting

A New Era is set in 1928, one year after the last events of the first film. The residents and staff of the Yorkshire country estate are still recovering from their experiences serving the Royal Family. The film director Jack Barber (Hugh Dancy) visits Downton and asks the family for permission to shoot a film within the estate. Their new guests include Hollywood actors Guy Dexter (Dominic West) and Myrna Dalgleish (Laura Haddock).

Lady Mary Talbot (Michelle Dockery) contemplates allowing this but eventually gives in because the estate needs a new roof.

In the 1920s, silent films were still around but slowly moved into what they called the “talkies.” Silent films typically did not have any talking but would say what they needed to be shown across the scene. Today, “talkies” are the movies we see every day. The new guests come into Downton and practically transform the movie studio into a movie studio between the props and staff, and the actors.

Twists and Turns in the Story

Throughout the film, many scenes could be interpreted in many different ways, posing a bit of confusion.

Nancy Fagan, who works for a Relationship Resolution Center said that she loved the film and it was much better than she had expected it to be.

“The only thing I think they should have done differently was the ending,” Fagan said. “First of all, it was not long enough. After a death, movies need to have a long, happy scene than they had.”

Fagan also believes that the film made the mistake of not finishing at home in France. “It would have made a much better ending,” she says. “I think the movie is primed for another installment, and I will be there to watch it.”

Will There Be a Third Movie? Fans Think So.

Tracy Acker, CEO & Recruiter of GetPaydayLoan, an online loan broker website based in the UK, says a good balance of humor and heartfelt moments in the film.

“It was better than the first film, and it was so much fun watching the downstairs residents dress up and eat at the dining table,” Acker said. “But I was disappointed that we didn’t get to meet Edith’s children.”

Acker was somewhat surprised, she says, by how much Lady Violet’s miniature resembled Edith and waited for someone to mention it.

“Everyone talked about Mary becoming the family’s next leader, but I always thought Edith would take over her witty quips,” Acker said.

She also believed they included some interesting on-location shots, which they could not have done on the show’s budget.

Acker felt that splitting the two plots was an excellent way to give each character a chance to shine and thought it would have been nice if the two could have worked together in someone.

The character whose ending she did not understand was Barrows. 

“I liked the idea of him becoming the Carson to Downton Abbey’s next generation, but I’m also glad he now has a genuine chance at a long-term happiness,” Acker said.  She hopes that if there is ever a third film, they hope to include him.

The Very Ending

At the end of the film, Maggie Smith’s character, the Dowager Countess, succumbs to her death. Most fans, and those loyal to Downton Abbey, knew this had to happen.

Barrow's departure provides another signpost toward a new chapter for the Crawley family. However, the ending to most fans felt a bit rushed. The death of the Dowager was telegraphed in the previous film.

Joseph Pastrana, of Mannfolk PR, in New York, New York, feels that Lady Mary’s continuing problems with her absentee husband will likely conclude in the next film. “The travails of Robert and Cora individually (with questions of his paternity and her mystery illness) were concluded, if predictably still quite satisfactory,” Pastrana said.

Pastrana believes that the show has established a solid worldwide fan base in its series run. This second film was highly anticipated, as reflected by the positive commercial success of the first movie.

“While I understand that this one has been hampered at the box office by the still on-going post-pandemic slump at the cinema, I firmly believe the financial result will prompt the filmmakers to attempt a third movie,” he says. “The fan base is there, and you know what they say; if they make it, they will come.”

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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Image Credit: Focus Features.