Downton Abbey: A New Era

image for Downton Abbey: A New Era

Short takes

Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 10 (themes, mild coarse language and sexual references). Likely to lack interest for most children under 15.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Downton Abbey: A New Era
  • a review of Downton Abbey: A New Era completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 May 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to themes, mild coarse language and sexual references.
Children aged 8–10 Parental guidance recommended due to themes, mild coarse language and sexual references.
Children over the age of 10 Ok for this age group but likely to lack interest for most children under the age of 15.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Downton Abbey: A New Era
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Occasional mild coarse language
Length: 125 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

As Violet Grantham’s (Maggie Smith) health begins to rapidly decline and the family is told that the end is near, she discovers that a long lost love has left her a villa in the south of France. Knowing that her own grandchildren are well cared for financially, Violet decides to leave the villa to the great-grandchild who stands to inherit the least. While Robert (Hugh Bonneville) and Cora Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern), along with Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), head to France to finalise the transfer of the property, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) stays at Downton Abbey to supervise the filming of a movie set upon 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 sometimes meeting those you idolise is not all it’s cracked up to be. When a series of incidents threatens the production, Lady Mary and the rest of her household step in to save the day.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

The fickleness of the entertainment industry; Classism; Snobbery; Cultural feuds; The perils of gambling; Romantic trysts; Homosexual relationships.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Lady Mary explains how her first husband died in a car accident.
  • Miss Dalgleish smashes a vase in anger.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Miss Dalgleish says in a suggestive manner that she knows, “every man in the room wants to give her one”.
  • There are repeated references to an “idyllic interlude”, that may 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 inferences to the sexual orientation of one man and some innuendo between him and another character.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Various married couples occasionally kiss throughout the film.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Drinks are served at various parties and during dinners.
  • Robert Grantham mentions how actors are just ‘plastered’.
  • Two servants drink real wine during a staged dinner while everyone else drinks coloured water.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Bloody Hell.
  • One character is likened to a verruca.

In a nutshell

Downton Abbey: A New Era is a continuation of the story of the Grantham’s and those who touch their lives. The film contains historically accurate costumes, sets and dialogue and, along with being somewhat difficult for younger ones to follow, will lack interest for most children. The film will, instead, be best enjoyed by older, more mature audiences and fans of the original series.

The main messages from this movie are that young love is never forgotten; and that you must never forget who you are or where you’ve come from.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Helpfulness
  • Compassion
  • Forgiveness
  • Kindness
  • Courage
  • Creativity.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Looking down on someone because of their station in life, sexual preference, culture or abilities.
  • The perils of gambling.
  • Going against the wishes of the departed.
  • The ramifications of being gay in the Downton Abbey era.
  • Choosing a career based only on how you look and failing to have a back-up plan.