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
RELEASE DATE: 12/06/16
The Plot Thus Far
Named Best Picture of the Year and nominated for nine 1992 Academy Awards(r) (including Best Picture,Best Director and Best Actress), HOWARDS END is a dazzling adaptation of E.M. Forster’s classic novel of Edwardian England. The film tells the story of the Schlegel sisters, Margaret (Emma Thompson) and Helen (Helena Bonham Carter); of a rich businessman, Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins), and his frail wife, Ruth (Vanessa Redgrave), and their children; and of an unhappily married young bank clerk, Leonard Bast (Sam West), whom the Schlegel sisters befriend. These three families are in complete contrast to each other. Margaret and Helen are idealistic, independent and highly educated. The Wilcoxes are uncultured and utterly conventional. Leonard Bast is poor and underprivileged, but with intellectual aspirations. Unexpectedly, when Mrs. Wilcox dies, Mr. Wilcox proposes to and is accepted by Margaret Schlegel. Her sister Helen is shattered by this marriage, and in reaction to it, turns to Leonard Bast. The story has become a tangle of opposites, and through the agency of Mr. Wilcox’s son Charles (James Wilby), it turns to tragedy. But in the end, thanks to the moral strength of Margaret, who believes that opposites can meet, that different kinds of people can connect, there is a resolution that is almost a triumph.
Troy Anderson is the Owner/Editor-in-Chief of AndersonVision. He uses a crack team of unknown heroes to bring you the latest and greatest in Entertainment News.