Academy Awards 1992 -
Best Adapted Screenplay: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Rolling Stone - 04/02/1992
"...Incisively witty, provocative and acted to perfection, this sublime entertainment is a career peak for producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala..."
New York Times - 03/13/1992
"...[Merchant, Ivory and Jhabvala] triumph again....[Thompson] comes into her own...[with] the film's guiding performance..."
Los Angeles Times - 04/15/1992
"...For everyone who's yearned for the dimly remembered satisfactions of traditional filmmaking, for movies of passion, taste and sensitivity that honestly touch every emotion, this is the one you've been waiting for..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 12/27/1992
"...This is the year's most literate and civilized film..."
Total Film - 10/01/1999
"...[The film] crackles with repressed energy....Acting honours go to Bonham Carter and Hopkins..."
Entertainment Weekly - 02/25/2005
"[A]n achingly poignant literary adaptation....The performances remain fresh and appallingly human..."
A.V. Club - 03/03/2010
"[T]here's grace and surprising bursts of emotion in the telling...starting with Thompson's magnificent performance as a well-meaning middle-class matron caught between worlds."
E.M. Forster's 1910 novel is adapted for the screen by Merchant Ivory Productions in this masterful Edwardian Age romance directed by James Ivory. The dying Ruth Wilcox (Vanessa Redgrave) wishes to leave her country home, Howards End, to Margaret Schlegel (Emma Thompson in an Academy Award-winning role), a modest woman of little means who will soon be forced out of her own home in London. But Ruth's husband, Henry (Anthony Hopkins), an upper middle class businessman, keeps secret her desire even after he and Margaret become friends. However, after Henry and Margaret marry, their class differences and philosophies threaten to cause them unhappiness. Margaret's sister, Helen (Helena Bonham Carter), is disgusted by the Wilcox's snobbish ways and is attracted to helping struggling clerk Leonard Bast (Sam West) improve his position. Merchant-Ivory screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was the force behind adapting this Forster novel into a film, winning her second Academy Award for her screenplay; her first Oscar was for A ROOM WITH A VIEW.
The pinnacle of decades-long collaboration between director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, HOWARDS END is a thought-provoking, luminous vision of E.M. Forster's cutting 1910 novel about class divisions in Edwardian England. Emma Thompson won an Academy Award for her dynamic portrayal of Margaret Schlegel, a flighty yet compassinate middle-class intellectual whose friendship with the dying wife (Vanessa Redgrave) of rich capitalist Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins) commences an intricately woven tale of money, love and death that encompasses the country's highest and lowest social echelons. With a brilliant, layered script by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (who also won an Oscar) and a roster of gripping performances, HOWARDS END is a work of both great beauty and vivid darkness, and one of cinema's greatest literary adaptations.
Subtle romance, callous class distinctions, and needless tragedy converge in this excellent drama of manners in Edwardian England, centered around a country house known as Howards End. The film, based on E.M. Forster's 1910 novel, assembles Merchant-Ivory standouts Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins; it won three Oscars and was nominated for six others.
Based On A Novel |
Essential Cinema |
Family Interaction |
Period Piece |
Theatrical release: March 13, 1992.
HOWARDS END was filmed in London and Oxfordshire, England.
Following A ROOM WITH A VIEW and MAURICE, HOWARDS END was the third in a series of Merchant-Ivory films based on novels by E.M. Forster.
HOWARDS END was named Best Picture of 1992 by the National Board of Review.