When last we caught glimpse of the extended Crawley family in the teaser trailer for Downton Abbey: A New Era, we flapped our hands with glee at the pure absurdity of the century-old Dowager Countess suddenly inheriting a villa in the south of France. It was just so hilariously on point for Downton creator Julian Fellowes, who loves nothing more than writing stories about insanely wealthy people gaining even further wealth under the most unlikely conditions. We couldn’t help but enjoy the silliness of it all. Well, now the full official trailer has been released and we feel like we should warn you before you hit that play button: things are about to get much sillier.
We’re sorry to say, we groaned through quite a bit of that. We expect absurdity from Julian Fellowes, but a highly unlikely location shoot for a motion picture in 1926 really isn’t the kind of thing we’re looking for in our Downton fix. The villa storyline looks as ridiculous as ever, but it’s aristos acting like aristos, no matter how silly the developments. We’ll sit through endless scenes of Edith looking amazing in tennis whites, but all of the stuff about a movie coming to Downton just feels like a classic jump-the-shark moment. Still, the costumes and locations are as gorgeous as we’d expect from a Downton film:
But…why does everyone look so bad? The makeup is terrible in almost every shot. Everyone’s really shiny and far, far more tanned than any aristocrat in 1926 would ever dare. Lord Grantham does not look well – and we only say that because everyone is else is so ruddy, shiny or orange that we doubt it has anything to do with Hugh Bonneville’s health.
Look, we’re definitely going to see this film and we are almost certainly going to happily bring our IQs and expectations down for the full two hours. Downton has always been high fantasy brain candy and if they want to go Hollywood on us for what is likely to be the final story (this cast does not look particularly…enthused, let’s say), we will enjoy every minute of gownery, jewelry and other assorted fineries parading in front of our eyes. It almost doesn’t matter what the story’s about. Downton takes place in a universe where people spontaneously heal from spinal injuries and post-Edwardian aristocrats happily embrace criminals, children born out of wedlock, Irish revolutionaries, and homosexual servants. Complaining about the plot is like complaining about the over-use of tiaras.
But let’s face it: that story looks dumb. Hopefully Thomas gets to shag Dominic West.
[Photo Credit: Focus Features – Video Credit: Focus Features/YouTube]
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