6.7/10
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47 user 27 critic

Restoration (1995)

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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:

Michael Hoffman

Writers:

Rose Tremain (novel), Rupert Walters (screenplay)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Downey Jr. ... Merivel
Sam Neill ... The King
David Thewlis ... Pearce
Polly Walker ... Celia
Meg Ryan ... Katharine
Ian McKellen ... Will Gates
Hugh Grant ... Finn
Ian McDiarmid ... Ambrose
Mary MacLeod Mary MacLeod ... Midwife
Mark Letheren Mark Letheren ... Daniel
Sandy McDade ... Hannah
Rosalind Bennett Rosalind Bennett ... Eleanor
Willie Ross Willie Ross ... Man with Visible Heart
David Gant ... Chiffinch
Benjamin Whitrow ... Merivel's Father
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

2 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Restauración See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Ian McKellen and Robert Downey, Jr. became friends during the shoot, and McKellen was struck by Downey's talent and attitude compared to some of the British cast members. McKellen offered Downey a part in Richard III (1995), stating that casting an American actor would help fund the film. When the release of Restoration was delayed by 18 months owing to story concerns and re-shoots, Richard III was actually released in theaters before Restoration. See more »

Goofs

When Merivel leaves the Fire of London, he is floating down the River Thames. He is, apparently, discovered 15 miles from Bidnold, which is in Suffolk (unreachable from the Thames) 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Game k n b?: Episode dated 3 March 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Newcastle
(uncredited)
Traditional
From John Playford's 'The English Dancing Master', First Edition (1651)
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User Reviews

 
The Age of Enlightenment
10 May 2002 | by sampleman411-1See all my reviews

After watching this film, I felt my faith in humanity had been (somewhat) restored, and not for the squishy, feel-good reasons either. Instead, I felt that filmmakers can often demonstrate truly wondrous, creative talents; Try not to think of all those sumptuous 18th Century European paintings that feature either the rich or the starving, while taking in the cinematic beauty of Hoffman's 'Restoration.'

So what if Meg Ryan has a role in this one, I still enjoyed it. This film is not about her anyway (the film is told from an exclusively patriarchal viewpoint, and doesn't sink into syrupy romance... at least not the way I saw it).

Eugenio Zannetti (I'm not entirely sure about the spelling, but he is a production designer of infinite wisdom and talent) created endless aristocratic hallways, gorgeous rooms, and locations of richness and pestilence that exist side-by-side. Zannetti went on to 'architecturally' design the central, Rococo menace in "The Haunting" (1999).

Downey Jr's performance (as a doctor) is Raphaelesque, a walking representation of the period in which this story takes place (the anguish and hope he must undergo and have is thespian splendor). Ian McKellan also appears (need I say more) here as a disheveled, yet benevolent supporting hero.

I strongly recommend you experience this 'restorative' piece of cinematic art.


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