HOWARDS END REVIEWED
“Howards End” looks better after its 4K restoration than the OOP Criterion disc sitting next to my left shoulder. While I know that a lot of readers on the site are physical media collectors, how’s about you watch a movie that you have been too scared to take out of its shrink wrap? Howards End is probably the greatest Merchant Ivory movie, even though it became a catch-all for them in early 1990s. Until “Downton Abbey” arrived, there were few works of dramatic art that tackled issues of serious class warfare.
I don’t mean that people were rioting and demanding the end of the class system. But, you got to see the rich undercut the middle class who in turn robbed employment from the poor. At the top of the societal food chain is Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins has just lost his wife to illness, but wants to do well by her wishes. When he finds out that she left an estate to a middle class friend, he destroys the bequeathment papers. It’s not that he hated this middle class woman, but his wife didn’t consult him first.
Meanwhile, Emma Thompson and her siblings are trying to do right by the local poor. While they offer employment to the practically destitute, their generosity only extends as far as they can save their own status. When their lives change, they cast off the poor like nothing. All the while, Hopkins and Thompson seem to be lovey with each other. No one is sure what’s happening, but everyone is out for their best interest. High drama and one of the better films of the 1990s.
- 2016 On-stage Q&A
- New Commentary
- 1.78:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track