When Lucy Honeychurch and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence with rooms without views, fellow guests Mr Emerson and son George step in to remedy the situation. Meeting... See full summary »
Helena Bonham Carter,
An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. When she discovers the heiress is attracted to her own lover and is dying, she sees a chance to have both the privileged life she cannot give up and the lover she cannot live without.
Helena Bonham Carter,
Encounter of three social classes of the England at the beginning of the century : the victorian capitalists (the Wilcoxes) considering themselves as aristocrats, whose only god is money ; the enlightened bourgeois (the Schlegels), humanistic and philanthropist ; and the workers (the Basts), fighting to survive. The Schlegel sisters' humanism will be torn apart as they try both to softly knock down the Wilcox's prejudices and to help the Basts. Written by
When Miss Margaret Schlegel (Emma Thompson) comes down the stairs and first meets Mr. Bast (when he attempts to retrieve his umbrella), Margarete calls her sister "Helena" and not "Helen". Helena is the real name of the actress portraying the sister (Helena Bonham Carter), and "Helen" is her characters name. See more »
Dearest Meg, I'm having a glorious time. I like them all. They are the very happiest, jolliest family that you can imagine. The fun of it is that they think me a noodle, and say so - at least, Mr. Wilcox does. Oh Meg, should we ever learn to talk less.
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The literary period piece is a difficult genre to master, requiring a difficult balancing between restraint and flowing emotion. Few films effectively achieve this as beautifully as Merchant-Ivory's astounding HOWARDS END, making it probably the best period film of the 1990's. The film juxtapositions the intellectual, emotionally unhindered Schlegel sisters against the restrained, imperious Wilcox family, and, for good measure, mixes in the differing attitudes toward class emerging early in the century. What could quite easily have been a dry study in the cultural dynamics of pre-WWI England becomes an enveloping tale, thanks in no small part to the performances by Hopkins, Emma Thompson, and Vanessa Redgrave, whose Ruth Wilcox remains enigmatic after every viewing. The emotions ringing through by film's end - not to mention its astoundingly pointed social criticism - give the film its power, a power missing even from Forster's rambling, distant novel. And this story is nestled amongst some of the most beautiful art direction, music, and cinematography to ever grace the screen. The haunting journey to HOWARDS END is one few other recent films can rival.
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