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,
A rule bound head butler's world of manners and decorum in the household he maintains is tested by the arrival of a housekeeper who falls in love with him in pre-WWII Britain. The possibility of romance and his master's cultivation of ties with the Nazi cause challenge his carefully maintained veneer of servitude.Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
None of the filmmakers had any experience with the way a great English country house is run, nor the minutiae of a butler's life. Kazuo Ishiguro was the first to admit this, and had to learn about it in the course of writing his novel. Sir Anthony Hopkins was afraid of making all kinds of gaffes, and requested that an experienced butler be somehow attached to the unit. This was done, the advisor being Cyril Dickman, the retired Steward to Queen Elizabeth II, and he, in time, brought in others who were experienced in the exact way of doing things in a big house like Darlington Hall. There was an exact pecking order, with specific servants to handle specific assignments. From the butler and the housekeeper on down, there were under-butlers, footmen, house maids, under-housemaids, the cook, the scullery boys, the gardeners, grooms, and gamekeepers, even the servants of the servants. It was a kind of extraordinary little kingdom. See more »
In one kitchen scene, in preparing for the banquet, we see a meat cleaver beheading a pheasant. However, when the head is thrown away, it is obvious that the head was previously severed, as the cleaver rests on a non-severed part of the pheasant's neck. See more »
The crowning achievement of the Ismail Merchant/James Ivory partnership and their entire production team who give their absolute best in original music, cinematography, editing, art and set direction, costumes, and, of course, screenplay by Merchant/Ivory regular Ruth Prawler Jhabvala. Add flawless performances from the all-star cast and the result is almost too perfect. But there is just enough humility to this sad tale of unrequited love to make it completely believable.
Anthony Hopkins excels as the impenetrable Mr. Stevens, Butler of a lordly country house in the final days of the British Empire, and Emma Thompson is superb as his foil, Housekeeper Miss Kenton. Both give wonderfully deep, sensitive portrayals of two complex lonely people who don't realize, until it's too late, that they belong together. Swirling around them is fascinating drama of life upstairs and downstairs and there are as many surprises and sub-plots to the story (based on a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro) as there are secret passages, nooks, and crannies in "Darlington House."
An all-round first-rate cinematic experience, "Remains of the Day" is one of those pictures that lingers in the mind long after the credits pass. A must see. One poignant note: this was the return to the big screen of actor Christopher Reeve, as American millionaire Congressman Lewis, whose life nicely frames the storyline. Two years later Reeve became paralyzed after being thrown from a horse.
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