Restoration (1995)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA/United Kingdom, 1995.  Avenue Pictures, Miramax, Segue Productions, The Oxford Film Company.  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Robert Downey Jr. is excellent in this period version of Jerry Maguire, as a successful Renaissance court surgeon who hits rock bottom after seriously avoiding his true calling (he has a gift for understanding humanity, or so his friend  tells him). After losing everything material and falling from grace with the King (), Downey instead regains his soul and makes a few friends along the way (including an oddly cast as what can only described as a ‘wench’). There is absolutely nothing memorable about the writing or the performances of this middling drama (even Hugh Grant‘s stuttering hilarity won’t stay with you for long), but it’s worth seeing for the outstanding art direction and costumes, which deservedly garnered Academy Awards for their richness and detail.

Academy Awards:  Best Art Direction; Best Costume Design

Berlin Film Festival:  In Competition

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