Howard's End details
|Starring:||Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins, Samuel West, Prunella Scales, James Wilby, Helena Bonham-Carter, Vanessa Redgrave|
|Run time:||2 hours 16 minutes|
|Rental release:||24 Feb 2003|
Most helpful review
Solid adaptation in true Merchant & Ivory styleBy a customer from Wales , 19 Aug 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]This is very much a slow-burner of a film. It moves at a leisurely pace, for much of the first half following three largely separate plot threads. Hopkins, the major reason for my selecting the film, also has very little to do in the first third or so, but patience became rewarded as his character assumes its greater prominence and the diverse elements are drawn closer together.
The is on one level the story of three families and how their paths first cross and then become inextricably entwined; on another it?s an examination of the prevailing, but evolving, Edwardian, social order where a privileged and remote upper class seek to preserve for themselves their inherited and commercial wealth at the expense of an impoverished, financially insecure under-class. The former is represented by the Wilcox family, whose patriarch is superbly played by Hopkins, the latter by the Basts, while the Schlegel sisters (Thompson and Bonham-Carter) are the intellectual middle class, acting both as narrative observers and hinges on which the developing plot turns.
As one would expect of this production team, the sense of time and place is well caught, and the all-British cast are just right for their essentially outwardly mannered, socially and emotionally constrained, characters. Thompson?s somewhat affected acting style, which I personally find grating in contemporarily-set films, is absolutely spot-on for this character and context; Bonham-Carter is wild-child in an appropriately restrained fashion; and although at first I thought Samual West?s accent a little strained, I quickly realised that this was actually his character Bast speaking, as trying to better himself out of his natural social class he speaks more ?properly? than perhaps would have come naturally.
In terms of plot and character, the film is very faithful to its source. In translation to screen, though, perhaps some of the complexity of the novel?s metaphors and symbolism is lost. I?m not sure, if I were not familiar with the source, if the film would have been enough for me to realise the symbolism of Howard?s End itself as England / Empire, its physical location for the transformation of a rural to an urban economy, with the very subject of its inheritance serving as metaphor for what kind of new social order should prevail in society.
Nevertheless, on its own merits, the film is a wonderful, slow, peripatetic, and ultimately rewarding journey.
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merchant ivory gemBy a customer , 22 Feb 2013Slow burner? That is the joyof it. Time to drink in the evocative Edwardian era and detail. One of my favourite films ever. And if it makes you reach for the book that is a good thing too. EMForster..can't go wrong for me and this is a great adaptation with wonderful actors in their prime.
Very good but, as usual, DVD damagedBy EduardoRodriguez (1 review) , 18 Nov 2012Very interesting adaptation of a novel that I really love but, as happens with ALL DVDs, is jumping several times.
SO SLOW IT ALMOST STOPSBy Burnhamite (407 reviews) from BURNHAM , 05 Sep 2012Extremely slow moving and largely disappointing movie considering the number of star names included in the cast and production. May be someone's cup of tea-not mine
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Plods along but too good to hurry anywayBy ash53 (53 reviews) from newbury , 24 Oct 2011Bit of a plodder this one - but at least you get comfy enough to watch the fantastic acting without being distracted by a roller coasting plot. It must be a nightmare adapting E M Forster's dense writing for the screen so you have to trust to luck when the scene pops up and youre not sure how you got there - but it doesnt matter - if ever there was a cast capable of that mythic performance of a telephone directory then this has to be one of them.
The three strands do weave together in the end proving that as long as you're posh you can get away with being poor but be poor and common and it's another story all together.
All round tip-top performances with splendid cameos gorgeous colour, beautiful flowers, wonderful costumes and attention to detail - in short everything you want for a perfect evening undisturbed on the settee thanks to Messers Merchant & Ivory
Howards End triumphBy a customer , 27 Jun 2011A good story beautifully told. However you need to read the
book to fill in the gaps! That's the problem with so many screen adaptations - so much is left out. Extremely well acted
by a stellar cast.