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Remains of the Day

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Remains of the Day

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson
Director: James Ivory
Rated: PG
RunTime: 134 Minutes
Release Date: November 1993
Genres: Drama, Romance

*Also starring: James Fox, Christopher Reeve, Peter Vaughan, Hugh Grant, Michael Lonsdale, Tim Pigott-Smith, Patrick Godfrey

Review by Steve Rhodes
3½ stars out of 4

In director James Ivory's The REMAINS OF THE DAY, Anthony Hopkins plays James Stevens, the head of the household staff in a large English country home before and after WW II. Stevens has a religious dedication to his job that is awe inspiring. You might want to question at times why he is so dedicated, nevertheless, you have to be impressed at someone who would give himself over body and soul to his job. His private life was of no importance. Serving his master, Lord Darlington (James Fox), was all important. This was true every minute of every day.

Emma Thompson played Sally Kenton, the head housekeeper. Kenton was Stevens's peer in the hierarchy of the household. She also grew to love Stevens. Stevens, on the other hand, was already married - to his job.

I thought Anthony Hopkins gave an academy award winning performance and Emma Thompson's performance was not far behind. The other actors and actresses in the show were fine, but nothing special. To put my review in context, I saw HOWARDS END, where these two great stars last appeared together, and found it only mildly interesting. Here, their every scene was compelling.

I found the movie very peaceful and extremely serene. I am sure others will see the movie and think it depressing or get angry that Stevens was unable to break the chains that bound him. I found it a fascinating portrait of a person who made a commitment in life and stuck to it without (almost any) question forever. I suspect many monks are not even this dedicated.

Copyright 1993 Steve Rhodes

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