Violet Grantham’s (Maggie Smith) health is declining rapidly, and the family is told that the end is near.
Violet discovers that a long-lost love has left her a villa in the south of France. Knowing that her grandchildren are well cared for financially, Violet decides to leave the villa to the great-grandchild who stands to inherit the least. Robert Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), Cora Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern) and Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) go to France to finalise the transfer of the property.
Meanwhile Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) stays at Downton Abbey to supervise the filming of a movie set in its grounds. The servants all have high hopes of getting to know the famous actors, especially the legendary Guy Dexter (Dominic West) and beautiful Myrna Dalgleish (Laura Haddock). But they discover that your idols aren’t always what you expect.
When a series of incidents threatens the production, Lady Mary and the rest of her household step in to save the day.
The fickleness of the entertainment industry; classism; snobbery; cultural feuds; gambling; romantic trysts; homosexual relationships
Downton Abbey: A New Era has some violence. For example:
- Lady Mary explains how her first husband died in a car accident.
- Miss Dalgleish smashes a vase in anger.
Downton Abbey: A New Era has some sexual references. For example:
- Miss Dalgleish says suggestively that she knows that ‘every man in the room wants to give her one’.
- There are repeated references to an ‘idyllic interlude’ that might have resulted in the birth of Lord Grantham.
- The director tries to kiss Lady Mary and tells her how attracted he is to her.
- There are repeated suggestions about a man’s sexual orientation. There’s also some sexual innuendo between him and another character.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Downton Abbey: A New Era shows some use of substances. For example:
- Drinks are served at various parties and during dinners.
- Robert Grantham mentions how actors are likely to get ‘plastered’.
- Servants drink real wine during a staged dinner while everyone else drinks coloured water.
Nudity and sexual activity
Downton Abbey: A New Era has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, married couples kiss occasionally.
There’s no product placement in Downton Abbey: A New Era.
Downton Abbey: A New Era has some coarse language, including ‘bloody hell’. There’s also some name-calling. For example, a character is likened to a verruca.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Downton Abbey: A New Era continues the story of the Granthams and those who touch their lives. The movie has historically accurate and beautiful costumes and sets. But the plot might be hard for children to follow, and the movie might lack interest for them. It’s most likely to be enjoyed by older, more mature audiences and fans of the original series.
These are the main messages from Downton Abbey: A New Era:
- Young love is never forgotten.
- You must never forget who you are or where you’ve come from.
Values in Downton Abbey: A New Era that could reinforce with your children include helpfulness, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, courage and creativity.
Downton Abbey: A New Era could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of things like:
- looking down on someone because of their station in life, sexual preference, culture or abilities
- disobeying the wishes of people who’ve died
- being gay in the first half of the 20th century
- choosing a career based on your appearance and not having a back-up plan.