Maurice (1987)

Maurice
Director: James Ivory
Writer: Kit Hesketh-Harvey, James Ivory
Based on: E. M. Forster‘s novel
Cast: James Wilby, Hugh Grant, Rupert Graves, Denholm Elliott, Simon Callow, Billie Whitelaw, Barry Foster, Judy Parfitt, Phoebe Nicholls, Patrick Godfrey, Mark Tandy, Ben Kingsley, Kitty Aldridge, Helena Michell, Catherine Rabett
Seen on: 22.4.2022

Content Note: (critical treatment of) homomisia, classism

Plot:
Maurice (James Wilby) meets Clive (Hugh Grant) at Cambridge University where they connect over philosophy and music. Their friendship quickly deepens and when Clive confesses his love for Maurice, Maurice is thrown at first but finally able to admit his love for Clive as well. Only that Clive wants to keep sex out of their relationship, especially since homosexuality is still forbidden in the UK. Trapped between (internalized) denial and a longing for happiness, Maurice and Clive have to make some important decisions.

Maurice is a beautifully crafted film that – given the time it is set in – I thought would be much sadder. Instead it is a powerful and very romantic call to live your truth.

The film poster showing Maurice (James Wilby) leaning over Clive (Hugh Grant) who is turning his face away.
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A Passage to India (1984)

A Passage to India
Director: David Lean
Writer: David Lean
Based on: E. M. Forster‘s novel and Santha Rama Rau‘s play based on the novel
Cast: Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft, James Fox, Alec Guinness, Nigel Havers, Richard Wilson, Antonia Pemberton, Michael Culver
Seen on: 30.6.2020

Content Note: (critical treatment of) racism, brownfacing

Plot:
Adela (Judy Davis) travels to India with her friend Mrs Moore (Peggy Ashcroft). The two women want to visit Mrs Moore’s son Ronny (Nigel Havers) who works as a city magistrate there. In the course of their trip, the two women hope to see the “real India”, and Adela hopes that she can finally decide whether she wants to marry Ronny or not. Once they arrive, they realize how segregated the British colonists are from the Indian people, but they do manage to meet local doctor Aziz (Victor Banerjee) through the teacher Fielding (James Fox). Aziz offers to take the two women to the Marabar caves, which they readily accept. But the trip has dire consequences – above all for Aziz.

A Passage to India is a good film that hasn’t aged well in all regards. But I’d say, it’s still worth seeing.

The film poster showing a group of people moving through the desert.

[SPOILERS]

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