“Maurice” might feel like old hat by now, but the material was fresh for its era. James Wilby and Hugh Grant play homosexual college friends who find themselves growing closer together. While they try to fight their urges during Edwardian England, they keep finding themselves drawn back together. In a fun barely credited role, Ben Kingsley shows up as an American hypnotist. It’s weird seeing Kingsley play so gruff of a character in a Merchant Ivory movie. But, there’s always Denholm Elliott to drop the English back into the tea.
While I enjoy the Cohen Collection for taking the deeper cuts that Criterion doesn’t approach, this is still quite a lesser Merchant Ivory movie. Sure, it picked up an Oscar nomination for costume design, but the story felt thin even for 1987. There is a ton going on in this movie, but ultimately it never tries to make a statement. But, such is the way of the British costume pieces. Everyone can look longingly at each other, but no one’s getting dirty. If that sounds right up your alley, then pick it up.
- Deleted Scenes with Alternate Takes
- 1.66:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track