Maurice

"Very Good"

Maurice Review


The second of three adaptations of E.M. Forster novels by James Ivory and Ismael Merchant, Maurice is one of Merchant-Ivory's strongest showings.

A painstakingly produced period piece, this Edwardian drama centers around the title character Maurice (pronounced "Morris") Hall (James Wilby), an Edwardian-era fancy lad who finds himself smitten with a schoolmate during his days at college in Cambridge (though this is of course notoriously against the law in England at the time). At first, he's smitten with Clive (Hugh Grant in his first major film role) but after seeing what happens to a friend of theirs (Mark Tandy) when he's busted for homosexuality and sentenced to hard labor in prison, they both attempt to mend their ways. Clive gets married, Maurice attempts hypnosis. This seems to "cure" Clive -- well enough, anyway -- but Maurice still can't shake it. Eventually he winds up shacking up with the much lower-class gamekeeper at the country estate.

If all this sounds a little fey, it's because the film does have a certain ethereal quality, but it's surprisingly accessible to even the manliest of men. That's because -- wisely, I'd say -- Ivory keeps the focus on the "keeping up of appearances," on the development of relationships, and on the society of 1910s England. Between hunting outings and parlor games, there are some deep conversations and important questions about how society is unable to trump human nature. Wilby, Grant, and their compatriots play it perfectly -- just like you'd imagine fay men in the 1910s would act when trying to play straight.

Made during the heyday of Merchant-Ivory's golden years, which began with A Room with a View in 1985 and ended with The Remains of the Day in 1993 (yes, you have to excise Slaves of New York from your memory), Maurice gives us the duo on a high. It's not their greatest work but it's definitely a winner. It's easy to quibble over some faults -- too long and a little lost in the beginning -- but ultimately it keeps us engaged and reasonably entertained (if a big depressed).



Maurice

Facts and Figures

Run time: 140 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th September 1987

Distributed by: Lorimar Home Video

Production compaines: Film Four International, Merchant Ivory Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Maurice Hall, as Clive Durham, as Alec Scudder, as Doctor Barry, as Mr. Ducie, as Mrs. Hall, as Dean Cornwallis, as Mrs. Durham, as Anne Durham, as Simcox, as Risley, as Lasker-Jones

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.