films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


The Remains of the Day

1993 / 134m - USA
Drama, Romance
The Remains of the Day poster

Hopkins and Thompson play servants and find each other working at a big estate. They are both extremely uptight and posh, as English servants tend to be, which makes for one of the most British romances ever put on film. It never crackles or sizzles, but right beneath the surface a lot is brewing.

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Hopkins and Thompson are fine, but their mannerisms are a bit much. While there are some nice scenes between them, their characters never feel real enough to care for. Which is a problem, because besides the romance there's some political filler that slows things down unnecessarily.

Ivory's direction is dull and by the numbers. The cinematography is meager and a lot of time is spent on drawn out dialogues that aren't half as intriguing as they were meant to be. At least the score was pretty decent, keeping the film from becoming too sappy, but that hardly redeems the overly long runtime and poor overall quality.

Howards End

1992 / 142m - UK
Drama, Romance
Howards End poster

Howards End is a typical costume drama with some class drama to infuse some added intrigue. If you're not swayed by the setting and costumes (like me), there's little else beyond endless dialogues to keep you awake. Those didn't do it for me either, which left me with very little.

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A daughter of an intellectual bourgeoisie family falls in love with the son of wealthy, conservative parents. They aren't happy with the engagement and want the couple to break it off, but the two have vowed to get married. It's the beginning of a tumultuous relationship between the two families.

The performances are decent enough, but that's about it. The drama is bland, the presentation old-fashioned and the runtime is beyond excessive. I'm not the core audience for this film, but there's very little here to set it apart from similar ones, so unless you like a classic costume drama, think twice before sitting down to see this one.

A Room with a View

1985 / 117m - UK
Drama, Romance
A Room with a View poster

Some films caused quite a big fuss upon initial release, then faded into obscurity. Often with reason. A Room with a View is such a film. Not that I'm overly familiar with costume dramas, but I do know the bigger titles in most niches. I'd never heard of this film before, and ultimately, I wish I'd never had.

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The story revolves around Lucy Honeychurch, a young woman who rejects the strict and prim world she grows up in. She's travelling through Italy with a rather fussy chaperone, who doesn't appreciate Lucy's more rebellious behavior. Things don't improve when Lucy hooks up with George Emerson.

A woman's fight to be slightly less prude in an overly prudish world isn't that exciting. The cinematography is utter kitsch, the soundtrack is poorly used and sentimental and the performances don't add much intrigue to the dull characters. Stretched to 120 minutes, this film turned out to be quite the ordeal.