Howards End

BBBBB

(out of 5)


The team at Merchany Ivory productions complete their E.M. Forster trilogy after A Room With A View and Maurice and save the best for last with this phenomenally good drama (which was also Forster’s best novel). Three sets of families, one upper class, one middle and one lower, all have interactions, confrontations and clashes in some way connected to the titular English country cottage. Headstrong and bohemian, the bourgeois Schlegel sisters are as different as sisters can be: Margaret (, in the role that brought her deserved acclaim and stardom) is sociable and wise, reserved and cerebral, at first befriending the aging Mrs. Wilcox (a heavenly ) and eventually her wealthy industrialist husband (). Her sister Helen (, more spirited than ever before) is passionate and impetuous, taking a poor desk clerk () under her wing and taking full responsibility when her financial advice does him a bad turn. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s screenplay adaptation is flawless, Tony Pierce-Roberts’s cinematography incredibly beautiful, and Luciana Arrighi’s stunning production design brings out the opulence of the period with incredibly strong life. I first saw this film as an inexperienced fourteen year-old, the first great film I’d ever watched in my entire life; twenty years later, after experiencing everything else that cinema masterpieces have to offer, it hasn’t lost a single bit of its quality or appeal.


Merchant Ivory Productions, Sumitomo Corporation, Imagica, Cinema Ten, Japan Satellite Broadcasting, Ide Productions, Film Four International

United Kingdom/Japan, 1992

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by ,

Film Editing by

The Criterion Collection

Academy Awards 1992

Cannes Film Festival 1992

Golden Globe Awards 1992

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