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

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.