Downton Abbey: A New Era – Blu-ray Review

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If you’re an avid fan of the PBS series and the first movie, your return to Downton should feel like a warm blanket on a cold day. Unfortunately, if you’re not familiar with their stories (like me), Downton Abbey: A New Era can get confusing.

Viewers familiar with Downton Abbey will find everything they expect – solid performance, witty dialogue and elaborate production design. Writer Julian Fellows has the unenviable task of balancing so many characters. However, this time it wisely moves those in the background in 2019 Downton Abbey in the foreground and vice versa.

Unfortunately, A new era stumbles by having too many things at once – a natural by-product of having a big set. Some characters have limited screen time and are simply there to advance the plot before moving on to someone else. He manages to give every familiar face at least one standout moment. Chief among them is Maggie Smith, who once again steals the show as Violet Crawley, the cantankerous Dowager Countess of Grantham. Smith is excellent when it comes to her dry wit and deadpan zingers.

Downton Abbey: A New Era follows a similar path to the first film, bringing in strangers to shake things up. This time it’s a visit from a film crew and when the family visits French nobles on the Côte d’Azur. Watching how the characters react to these procedures is great fun. It’s also how non-fans (like me) can enjoy this movie without knowing the backstory of the characters.

Globally, Downton Abbey: A New Era stays true to itself to please its huge fanbase and provides enough entertainment for casual fans. It offers a nice farewell to the past but also opens up new storylines with a new generation that will drive the franchise forward.

Film rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Downton Abbey: A New Era - Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Laura Carmichael

Video

Downton Abbey: A New Era hits Blu-ray with 1080p MPEG-AVC with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The image has relatively high contrast, leading to bright whites and inky blacks. In the end, the black levels are so dark that it leads to loss of shadow detail. The colors also have a natural colorization, ranging from the rustic hues of Downton Abbey to the rich greens and blues of the outdoors. Picture clarity showcases every detail of the flawless production design in this Blu-ray release.

Video rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Downton Abbey: A New Era - Allen Leech and Lucy Smith

audio

Downton Abbey: A New Era hits Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 master audio track. This review will reflect Downton Abbey: A New EraDolby Atmos track. As you’d expect, the film is dialogue-driven and doesn’t necessarily require the use of a spectacular home theater system. However, the surround sound channels are still effective, widening the soundstage and creating an enveloping feel when a scene calls for it. For the most part, the soundstage is limited to atmospheric effects and occasional panning. However, the Atmos presentation excels at showcasing John Lunn’s musical score. Overall, the Atmos mix may not impress viewers, but it complements the film very well, and that’s all that matters.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

Downton Abbey: A New Era - Dominic West and Robert James Collier

Special features

Downton Abbey: A New EraBlu-ray Disc has the following special features on Blu-ray Disc:

  • Good to be back
  • Return to Downton Abbey: The creation of a new era
  • A legendary character
  • Create the movie…in the movie
  • Her Majesty Britannia’s Yacht
  • Spill the tea (time)
  • Feature Commentary with Director Simon Curtis
Feature evaluation

Good to be back is a skippable featurette in which the entire cast talks about their joy at being back and doing the next Downton Abbey movie. On the other hand, Back to Downton Abbey is an in-depth making-of featurette that explores the exquisite work each production department has contributed to the film. If you’ve seen the movie, then you know why. legendary character is an appropriate feature for this Blu-ray release. He looks back at the character’s history on the show and why Maggie Smith was born to play the Dowager Countess of Grantham. Creation of the movie delves into the making of the film within the film. The amount of additional research and detail that has gone into it is mind-boggling.

Her Majesty Britannia’s Yacht follows the true story of the former royal yacht of the British monarchy. It also reveals why it was the appropriate ship to play cross-channel ferry in A new era. spill the tea has Allen Leech and Laura Carmichael divulging details about life on set while filming A new era. Simon Curtis’ feature-length commentary is an intriguing lead that feels more like play-by-play commentary than typical modern director commentary.

Note of special characteristics: 3.5/5 atoms


Globally, Downton Abbey: A New Era perfectly balances the desire to appease longtime fans while creating a movie that newcomers can also enjoy. The video and audio presentations are sublime, while the bonus features are a bit haphazard.

Overall rating: 4/5 atoms

Downton Abbey: A New Era is now available in stores on Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray has been reviewed using a copy/retail/pre-release unit provided by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

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