Flawless performances from Hopkins and Thompson form the emotional core of Merchant-Ivory’s tale of repressed love in a 1930s’ English manor. Hopkins is the butler whose feelings for Thompson’s housekeeper cause him to question the personal sacrifices he’s made during a lifetime of subservience.
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In Ishiguro's book, the revelation that Stevens is a unreliable narrator--that is, he has lied to himself and the reader about his true feelings--at the end is heartbreaking. That literary moment has remained with me all these years later. Similarly, the scene in the film where Stevens & Ms Kenton part for the last time was an excellent stand-in for the above-mentioned in the book. What a marvelous film adaption!
Kazuo Ishiguro's richly detailed and emotionally rich novel was masterfully adapted by scripter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and produced with intricate detail by the Merchant/Ivory house and stands as one of their most significant achievements. Casting was key and Hopkins and Thompson were at their very best in this world of checked emotions and things left unsaid. Set design and cinematography were near perfection.
Anthony Hopkins will be forever known in cinematic history for his iconic role in The Silence of the Lambs but the emotional depth he brings to his character in The Remains of the Day will always be his finest hour.
A brilliant movie that exposes so much more than class differences, peeling back the facade of stifling 1930s class structure that existed within the underbelly of the manor's staff. A stupendous performance by Anthony Hopkins
Longing echoes throughout the vast corridors of this sprawling English estate and grows even stronger the further the characters get from each other. Anthony Hopkins' usual line-reading-as-acting is an irritant but thankfully Emma Thompson carries both characters' struggles with strength and grace. The film is most potent in the final scenes when both actors just barely release what's been built up previously
We assume far more than what it is revealed in this adaptation of Ishiguro's book. The political plot is slightly better drafted than the restrained emotional story that is key to the film. It is undertandably the stellar performances what finally stand out but the subtle emotional turmoil is barely drafted and poorly understood. Ivory aims too high hoping to embrace it all but leaves behind more shadows than lights.
Subtle and quiet adaptation of one of Kazuo Ishiguro's finest books. The acting of and chemistry between Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thomson are outstanding, portraying the emotional isolation of the age the story is set with heart-rending intensity. Beautiful.