26 December 2014


Restoration 1995
  • Director: Michael Hoffman
  • Based on novel  by Rose Tremain
  • Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Sam Neill, David Thewlis, Ian McKellen, Meg Ryan, Polly Walker, Hugh Grant, Ian McDiarmid
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Robert Downey Jr  Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows, Sherlock Holmes, The Soloist, Zodiac, A Scanner Darkly, Good Night and Good Luck, Gothica, Black and White, Richard III
    • Sam Neill – Skin, Little Fish, Merlin, The Dish, Jurassic Park, The Piano, Ivanhoe
    • David Thewlis – Harry Potter, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Kingdom of Heaven, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, The Big Lebowsky, Naked, Life Is Sweet
    • Ian McKellen – Vicious, King Lear, Lord of the Rings, Extras, X-Men, Richard III, Cold Comfort Farm, The Ballad of Little Jo, Macbeth
    • Meg Ryan – Kate and Leopold, You Have Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, The Doors, Joe and the Volcano, When Harry Met Sally
    • Polly Walker – Enchanted April
    • Hugh Grant - Music and Lyrics, American Dreamz, Love Actually, About a Boy, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Sense and Sensibility, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Remains of the Day, Impromptu, Notting Hill
    • Ian McDiarmid – Star Wars I, II III,VI, Sleepy Hollow, Cold Lazarus, Karaoke, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Why?  Found it interesting the first time, especially the historical period
  • Seen:  Once previously. Now December 13, 2014
Lavish debauchery in the 1600’s makes me long for Oliver Cromwell’s Puritanism.
Is this just a love story in outrageous costumes and wigs, after all?
Unrequited love, it would appear, and complicated by a campy Hugh Grant’s betrayal of hero Robert Downey Jr, the debauched physician, who ends up returning to what he fears most – being a physician.
He arrives at a madhouse where his medical skills return in spite of his reluctance and the film becomes interesting.
But then the whole story changes again and the unwilling physician finds himself with one of the no longer mad inmates, Meg Ryan, in plague-ridden London.
And then the Great Fire.
The story twists and turns and I find that the fates of the characters have etched themselves into my feelings.
It’s a bit too clever to be really profound but history itself has a strong presence and Ian McKellen and David Thewlis raise the level of any film they’re in.

3 ½ * of 5

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