Downton Abbey: A New Era – Movie Review

TL;DR – While it does suffer from pacing issues when it finds its grove, it becomes a true delight    

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey: A New Era Review

As we said back in our review of the first Downton Abbey film, I have never watched any of the TV Show that is the basis for these films. It was a pop-culture phenomenon, so even without watching, you picked up things like one character’s untimely death via car crash after visiting his newborn son. With that in mind, I am approaching these films and these reviews as someone who has not seen the supporting show and thus present how it works or does not work for those who have not watched the show.

So to set the scene, we open with a wedding as Tom Branson (Allen Leech) and Lucy (Tuppence Middleton) as the whole family comes to share in the nuptials. However, as they return to Downton, Robert Crawley, 7th Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and his daughter Lady Mary Talbot (Michelle Dockery) are called into a meeting with Violet Crawley, The Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) and her lawyer. For you see, Violet has inherited a villa in the south of France in a surprising and disputed way. Half the household makes the trip down south to work this all out. Meanwhile, those who stayed back at the Abbey must contend with the mansion being used as a location site for a film. It is a big imposition, but the appearance of Guy Dexter (Dominic West) and enough money to fix the roof help ease the pain.

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Movie Review – The BFG

TL;DR – Beautiful, touching, funny, heart-warming, if you go you will have a good time

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The BFG. Image Credit: Disney.

Review

I grew up during the Disney Renaissance, in a time of The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Mulan. It was a great time for fairy tales … but they all have that Disney-fication about their stories that removed a lot of the weird, I mean have you ever read the One Thousand and One Nights, or the original Hans Christian Andersen version of The Little Mermaid, that stuff be messed up. So when I was growing up the were two sources of weird that you could come across, the first was Paul Jennings which was adapted into the Australian mainstay of Round The Twist, and the other was Roald Dahl. His work was wired and wonderful, books like The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, were irreverent, weird, wonderful and full of heart. Now, movie adaptions of Roald Dahl’s books have been hits and misses, and Roald Dahl himself had been generally really negative about all the movie adaptions of his books. So with this in mind we have The BFG, a book I loved as a child, but with movie adaptions of books being such a mixed bag, how does this one go? The BFG is one of the best I have seen.

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