6.7/10
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45 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

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)
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User Reviews

 
To this film's detractors:
20 April 2006 | by haroldnmaudeSee all my reviews

I'm not sure we saw the same movie and I'm puzzled.

This is a tremendously rich, emotional film, very true to Rose Tremain's novel, and just wonderful.

The casting is divine, and I thought Meg Ryan was fine as Catherine.

Charles II is my favorite English monarch and Sam Neill portrayed him just as I pictured him.

Robert Downey was Marivel to a T, as was David Thewliss as Pierce.

The costumes and scenery were magnificent -- from the palace to the countryside and back -- and those fabulous Spaniels running through the palace and environs was just how I'd pictured England's most enlightened monarch's place to be!

How anyone can find this movie to be anything less than a gem is beyond me.


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