6.7/10
7,940
45 user 26 critic

Restoration (1995)

The exiled royal physician to King Charles II devotes himself to helping Londoners suffering from the plague, and in the process falls in love with an equally poor woman.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Los Angeles advertisement director Max visits his friend, artist Charlie, who was diagnosed with A.I.D.S. in New York City. There he meets Karen, they are attracted to each other and after ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Figgis
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Nastassja Kinski, Kyle MacLachlan
Only You (1994)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Destiny. Faith (Marisa Tomei) believes that two soul-mates can be united if they find each other. From the Ouija board, she has found the name of her missing half, and it is D-A-M-O-N ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Bonnie Hunt
Richard III (1995)
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The classic Shakespearean play about a murderously scheming king staged in an alternative fascist England setting.

Director: Richard Loncraine
Stars: Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Christopher Bowen
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A businessman is reunited with the four lost souls who were his guardian angels during childhood, all with a particular purpose to joining the afterlife.

Director: Ron Underwood
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Charles Grodin, Alfre Woodard
Sirens (1994)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

When a painting is termed blasphemous, a young minister and his wife visit the artist... and the three sexually playful models living with him.

Director: John Duigan
Stars: Hugh Grant, Tara Fitzgerald, Sam Neill
Soapdish (1991)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An ambitious television soap actress connives with her producer to scuttle the career of the show's long-time star, but nothing works as they plan.

Director: Michael Hoffman
Stars: Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr.
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When an English cartographer must tell a Welsh village that their mountain is only a hill, the offended community sets out to change that.

Director: Christopher Monger
Stars: Hugh Grant, Tara Fitzgerald, Colm Meaney
Hugo Pool (1997)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Hugo Pool is a quirky tale of a Los Angeles pool cleaner who falls in love with a young man dying of Lou Gerhig's Disease.

Director: Robert Downey Sr.
Stars: Alyssa Milano, Mark Boone Junior, Malcolm McDowell
True Believer (1989)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A cynical former civil liberties attorney now reduced to "specializing" in defending drug dealers becomes transformed by an eight-year-old murder case.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: James Woods, Robert Downey Jr., Margaret Colin
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After losing her job, making out with her soon-to-be former boss and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson faces spending the holiday with her family.

Director: Jodie Foster
Stars: Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, Robert Downey Jr.
Moll Flanders (1996)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The daughter of a thief, young Moll is placed in the care of a nunnery after the execution of her mother. However, the actions of an abusive priest lead Moll to rebel as a teenager, ... See full summary »

Director: Pen Densham
Stars: Robin Wright, Morgan Freeman, Stockard Channing
Wonder Boys (2000)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Will Gates
...
...
Ambrose
Mary MacLeod ...
Midwife
Mark Letheren ...
Daniel
...
Hannah
Rosalind Bennett ...
Eleanor
Willie Ross ...
Man with Visible Heart
...
Chiffinch
...
Merivel's Father
Edit

Storyline

An aspiring young physician, Robert Merivel found himself in the service of King Charles II and saves the life of a spaniel dear to the King. Merivel joins the King's court and lives the high life provided to someone of his position. Merivel is ordered to marry one of the King's mistresses in order to divert the suspicions of another one of his mistresses. He is given one order by the king and that is not to fall in love. The situation worsens when Merivel finds himself in love with his new wife. Eventually, the King finds out and relieves Merivel of his position and wealth. His fall from grace leaves Merivel where he first started. And through his travels and reunions with an old friend, he rediscovers his love for true medicine and what it really means to be a physician. Written by P. Wong <pwong@nt.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world of seduction and power, temptation has its price.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Restauración  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Its two Oscar nominations and wins (Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design) were up against, among other nominees, Richard III (1995) - which also featured Sir Ian McKellen and Robert Downey, Jr. in its cast. See more »

Goofs

As Robert Merivel and Will Gates are talking in the garden, sitting together on a bench, someone (shadowy) is moving from right to left behind the bushes behind Merivel's back. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Opening Title Card: In 1660 Charles II was restored to the English Throne ending 11 years of Oliver Cromwell's bleak Puritan rule. Thus began the age of Restoration. It was an era of scientific discovery, artistic exploration and luxurious sensuality.
Opening Title Card: It was also a time of natural disasters and archaic medical practices. Science was pitted against superstition. This is the story of one man's journey through the light and dark of those times.
See more »


Soundtracks

Newcastle
(uncredited)
Traditional
From John Playford's 'The English Dancing Master', First Edition (1651)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Overlooked Period Piece of 1600s England
25 June 2007 | by See all my reviews

Europe of the 1600's has often been an overlooked era, sandwiched between the idealism and art of the Elizabethan/Shakespearean Age (late 1500s) and the Enlightenment of the 1700's. In many ways, 1600s England was a transitional time reflecting the growth of England toward a modern sensibility while still being hindered by the traditions and outlooks of the past, primarily the hold of Medieval thought which held to a strict hierarchical strata while discouraging and even destroying the pursuit of knowledge and truth.

Robert Downey Jr. does a tremendous job as a character that appears to be a fore-runner of the coming Enlightenment. He is a physician on the verge of ground-breaking new scientific discoveries in the area of medicine. However, through a serendipitous and at first fortuitous run-in with King Charles II, the Restoration monarch (played brilliantly by Sam Neill), Downey loses his way and becomes a willing pawn in the king's sexual chess games. He even forsakes his precious medical texts to a colleague. In return, Downey gains a royal title, a royal tract of land, servants, and a wife. The only stipulation that is placed upon him: He cannot touch his own wife--she ultimately belongs to the King as one of his many mistresses.

In this way, Charles II is still a monarch enacting a role that was first prescribed in the Middle Ages: that of the absolute ruler with absolute authority that can use his subjects for his own whims, and he can also discard those that are no longer useful. Simultaneously, there is another side to Charles II. Although he is the son of his late father Charles I, Charles II is the heir to Cromwell who devoted time and money to philanthropic projects, such as the study of science and medicine, the improvement of architecture, and the creation of schools. Charles II continues the enterprises begun by Cromwell and becomes a transitional monarch who has aspects that reflect both the Middle Ages and the Enlightenment.

In many ways, Restoration is about these two worlds, and how Downey lives in both of them, from the luxurious life of a nobleman to the humble physician working with Quakers in an insane asylum. The king is also a person caught in both worlds. At first he appears the selfish ruler using his subjects as chess pieces in a large game in which he is always the bona fide winner. But then in another scene, we see him as a kind of philanthropic monarch financing and encouraging scientific and liberal research and discourse. In an interesting scene, Downey enters a kind of laboratory in which knowledge, research, and discovery are are being supported by the king who presides over the work of many scholars. Behind him is a strange swirling circus-like representation of the cosmos. We can't quite tell if the representation depicts the earth as the center of the Universe or the Sun, as if this notion is still being debated. But to his credit, the king is allowing for debate--something a Medieval king under a Medieval Church would have never allowed. Later, we learn that Downey is also an amateur astronomer, gazing at the stars in the heavens with a telescope.

Through his adventures in and out of these worlds, Downey sees the light and dark of both and becomes something greater than he had before, particularly through an episode in which he falls in love with one of the patients (Meg Ryan) at the insane asylum. One aspect of the film that is quite revealing is the shades of color used to represent the different "worlds". The world of the king is bright and colorful. The world of the Quakers is far more gray, but toward the end of the movie, the world of the king becomes darker hued.

In the end, even the King seems to understand the importance of scientific discourse and research--that these ideas could ultimately help not only his people but himself. Medieval monarchs played games with people's lives for their own selfish ends, and sometimes stifled those who could make positive contributions to their societies and even humanity at large. Restoration is about the transition from the Medieval model to a new societal design in which personal gain becomes an outcome of talent and contribution and not monarchical whim. Today, we are still challenged by the notion of privilege over substance. People in power still often give major opportunities to those they favor over those that could make important contributions who are less adept at playing the political game.


18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 45 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Katee Sackhoff talks about her characters on "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Wars: Rebels," and "The Flash." Plus, "The IMDb Show" learns what it takes to wield a lightsaber.

Watch the show