Howards End
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One of the best Ismail Merchant/James Ivory films, this adaptation of E. M. Forster's classic 1910 novel shows in careful detail the injuriously rigid British class consciousness of the early 20th century. The film's catalyst is "poor relation" Margaret Schlegel (Emma Thompson), who inherits part of the estate of Ruth Wilcox (Vanessa Redgrave), an upper-class woman whom she had befriended. The film's principal characters are divided by caste: aristocratic industrial Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins); middle-echelon Margaret and her sister Helen (Helena Bonham Carter); and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The performances are impeccable, but honours go to Thompson, who manages to make Margaret's saintliness actually seem seductive."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"Merchant and Ivory have regathered many of the cast and crew from their earlier films to work on this reproduction to exquisite effect."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Say "Merchant-Ivory" to most cinephiles and watch their eyelids sag."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"Hopkins and Thompson are so perfect together it's hard not to buy them as a couple"
‑ Christopher Null,
"Brilliantly written, directed and performed."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"It's time for legislation decreeing that no one be allowed to make a screen adaptation of a novel of any quality whatsoever if Ismail Merchant, James Ivory and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala are available, and if they elect to do the job."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"A film seething with anger, passion, greed and emotional violence. That the characters are generally well-behaved says less about their manners than their inhibitions."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The pairings of Margaret and Henry, and Helen and Leonard, attempt to cross fault lines widened by class, and the tragedy of Howards End is in the absolute necessity and absolute inefficacy of doing so at their moment in history. [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"The best of the countless Merchant Ivory productions - and arguably the most appreciated by those who don't even like Merchant Ivory movies."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"An exquisite screen version of E.M. Forster's 1910 novel."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"The film serves Forster by taking to heart the book's epigraph: "Only connect.""
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"British class conflict; ok for older teens."
‑ Randy White, Common Sense Media
"Along with Room With a View, this films represents the best of the Ismail-Merchant literary adaptations, one in which contents and style are congruent and harmonious."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Marvellously well done like its predecessors, but here teetering toward prestige."
‑ Jake Euker, F5 (Wichita, KS)
"Freed from the subtending contexts that impugn its good name, Howards End is a worthy accomplishment: a portrait, and not an instance, of an England fueled by repressed guilts and dubious choices."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
More reviews for Howards End on Rotten Tomatoes