Based on the 1910 novel, Howards End is a tour-de-force portrayal of E.M. Forster’s masterpiece about a society in transition. The film was named Best Picture of 1992 by the National Board of Review, received nine Academy Award nominations, including that of Best Picture, and was one of the most critically acclaimed pictures of the 90s.
The free-spirited, free-thinking Schlegel sisters, Margaret (played by Emma Thompson, who received an Academy Award for her performance) and Helen (played by Helena Bonham Carter), are swept into a relationship with the Wilcoxes, a wealthy conservative English trading family; and the Basts, a couple near the lowest tier of the Edwardian class system. In an ever deepening palimpsest of relationships and obligations, Margaret must reconcile her irrepressible, independent spirit with her desire for companionship, and Helen must come to terms with her sister’s choices and her unexpected passion for a match that, seemingly, should never be. —Merchant Ivory Productions
Thanks to the content of his films, American director James Ivory has spent much of his long career being mistaken for an Englishman. Few filmmakers have been more closely associated with a particular type of genre than Ivory and his longtime collaborator, producer Ismail Merchant. The very mention of the hyphenate Merchant-Ivory effortlessly conjures up heavily stylized images of Edwardian England, replete with stiff upper lips, effete aristocrats, and young women confined by both corsets and repressed desire. However, although much of Ivory’s reputation has been built on his E.M. Forster-adapted period dramas, he has also earned considerable respect for the insightful examinations on the interplay of different cultures inherent in almost all of his work — particularly his earlier films about India — and his and Merchant’s ability to make quality films on a minimal budget.
Born in Berkeley, California, on June 7, 1928, Ivory grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where his father… read more
The characters grow and change during the story, especially in the book. The film reduces some of the characters (Leonard, Jacky, Dolly and Charles) to stereotypes. James Ivory showed the atmosphere Forster created, and that doesn't seem easy to do. The film's as symbolic as the novel.
Another Merchant and Ivory production of an E.M. Forster novel. But, oh, don’’t forget the third less well known partner in this film making team, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who wrote most of Merchant and… read review