The first Downton Abbey movie served as an epilogue for the series, providing extra resolution to several characters and coupling up others to provide a happy ending. Then it was wildly successful to the tune of $200 million worldwide, and thus demanding a follow up film.

Creator/writer Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) produces yet another epilogue, this time finding even more happy endings and couplings for the those left out from the first cinematic victory lap. Fellowes is still amusing with his understated wit and class conscious dramatics.

Maggie Smith returns as the tart-tongued Dowager Countess along with the rest of the beloved cast. This second film splits the cast in two locations — one half inspects a picturesque villa in the south of France left to the Dowager, to the buttoned-up surprise of her son who questions what relationship his mother had with the former owner.

The other half of the cast is stationed at the Downton estate while a Hollywood film crew decamps to make a movie. The inclusion of the movie-within-a-movie allows for some dishy moments, starstruck characters, and opportunities for a few Downton residents to make their mark in the pictures.

These scenes are fun and provide some interesting conflict as the production has to quickly adapt from being a silent movie to one of the newfound all-the-rage talkies (with a lead actress better suited without sound).

It’s a fluffy side story but allows many characters to shine. While the movie is mostly low-key and charming, much like its first big screen effort, by the end there might be some real tears, especially if you’ve been with these characters from the start.

About The Author

Founder, Awards Editor

Byron is the Awards Editor and Founder of Awards Focus, in addition to being a National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award winning journalist for his work at The Hollywood Reporter.

Working as a journalist and moderator, Byron hosts Emmy and Oscar panels for the major studios, featuring their Below The Line and Above The Line nominees (in partnership with their respective guilds).

Moderating highlights include Ingle Dodd's Behind the Slate Screening Series for Emmy and Oscar nominees, The ArcLight's Hitting the High Note Oscar series, The Hollywood Music and Media Academy FYC Series, and Emmy & Oscar panels for Society of Lyricists and Composers.

Byron's panels range from FX's Fargo to Netflix's The Crown, The Queen's Gambit, & Bridgerton; HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, Hacks, Succession, Insecure, Lovecraft Country & The White Lotus; and the Apple TV + hit series Ted Lasso.

In February of 2020, Byron hosted and organized the Aiding Australia Initiative; launched to assist in the restoration and rehabilitation of Australia's wildlife (an estimated 3 billion animals killed or maimed and a landmass the size of Syria decimated).

Participating talent for Aiding Australia includes Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Jeremy Renner, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Josh Brolin, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, James Franco, Danny Elfman, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Tim Allen, Colin Hay, Drew Struzan, and Michael Rosenbaum.

Byron is also a patent holding inventor, screenwriter, and songwriter (X-Men Apocalypse) in addition to being a proud member of The Society of Lyricists & Composers and BMI.

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