18 December 2017

The Remains of the Day

The Remains of the Day 1993
  • Director: James Ivory
  • Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, James Fox, Christopher Reeve, Peter Vaughan, Ben Chaplin, Hugh Grant, Timothy Pigott-Smith
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Anthony Hopkins – Thor, Wolfman, Bobby, The Human Stain, Titus, Meet Joe Black, Amistad, Surviving Picasso, Howards End, The Silence of the Lambs, 84 Charing Cross Road, Othello, Elephant Man, The Lion in Winter
    • Emma Thompson – The Love Punch, Beautiful Creatures, Harry Potter, An Education, The Boat that Rocked, Nanny McPhee, Last Chance Harvey, Brideshead Revisited, Stranger than Fiction, Angels in America, Love Actually, Wit, The Winter Guest, Sense and Sensibility, Much Ado About Nothing, Peter’s Friends, Howards End, Dead Again, Impromptu, Henry V, The Fortunes of War, Tutti Frutti
    • Christopher Reeve – The Aviator, Superman
    • James Fox – Downton Abbey, Merlin, The Kid, Sherlock Holmes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Absolute Beginners, Isadora
    • Peter Vaughan – Hotel Splendide, Longitude, Les Misérables, Our Mutual Friend, Brazil, The French Lieutenant’s Woman
    • Ben Chaplin – Birthday Girl, The Thin Red Line
    • Hugh Grant – Music and Lyrics, American Dreamz, Love Actually, About a Boy, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Notting Hill, Sense and Sensibility, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Impromptu
    • Tim Pigott-Smith – Jupiter Ascending, Bletchley Circle, Downton Abbey, Alice in Wonderland, Quantum of Solace, V for Vendetta, Gangs of New York, Henry IV Part One, Measure for Measure
  • Why? Originally, Emma Thompson
  • Seen: Twice before. Now with Hal and YW in our read-book-see-film group

       If there is anything stuffier than the English aristocracy it’s the English aristocracy’s butler. At least if we can believe all these British series and films. Why do we love them so?
       Well, because of people like Hopkins and, even more so, Thompson.
       Ishiguro’s novel is a masterpiece on many levels, not the least as an analysis of class and British pre-WWII politics.
       Decent, honourable, well-meaning, but amateurs. We all know what happened and we cannot only blame the British aristocrats for the rise of the Nazis and the war. Not only.
       The novel and the film are both fine studies of the subtleties of international politics, of individual psychology, of insidious class and ethnics oppression and complicity, and especially of self-deception. The novel is much subtler and all the stronger for it.
       Should Hopkins and Thompson not have got Oscars and BAFTAs for these roles?

4 ½ * of 5 (we all agreed)

PS They were both nominated for an Academy award, Thompson was nominated for a BAFTA and Hopkins won the BAFTA

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