Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Remains of the Day

Anthony Hopkins is best known for his Oscar-winning role in The Silence of the Lambs. But before and after that film's release, he has done several prolific dramatic roles.

Here in James Ivory's The Remains of the Day, he delivers his best work as Stevens. In a performance that's very much a far cry from Hannibal Lecter, Hopkins displays a subtly with his emotions. He clearly has them; he just doesn't show them.

He buries his personal life by focusing on his work. It's that sort of quirk of his that manages to stir some curiosity in Miss Kenton (Emma Thompson). Yet Stevens keeps his true feelings very well hidden. This is an ability only the finest of actors possess. Hopkins is one such actor.

But The Remains of the Day isn't memorable solely for Hopkins and his brilliant performance. It's also notable for its mature and lovely depiction of a restrained love. Like In the Mood for Love several years later, this provides a heartbreaking portrait of a romance that could have been. Bravo, Mr. Ivory.

The Remains of the Day is just very lovely. Along with Hopkins, there is some great work from Thompson, Christopher Reeve and (surprise, surprise) Hugh Grant. Oh, and the cinematography by Tony Pierce-Roberts is gorgeous. Thank you, Mr. Ivory. I now have a new film to add to my list of favorites.

My Rating: *****

1 comment:

  1. I love how you saw about his emotions "He clearly has but he doesn't show them". It's an especially difficult thing for an actor to telegraph and Hopkins does it so effectively which ends up making the film that much more profound.

    " It's also notable for its mature and lovely depiction of a restrained love." Also, with you on that. Incidentally, the film can be considered a bit of a step-down from the novel by some because of it's added focus on the romance but it ends up working excellently.

    (Your comparison to IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. Always nice when writers can draw parallels between ostensibly different films.)


Comments are appreciated. More so if they are appropriate.