"I need a man who is far too enamored of women in general to make the mistake of loving one in particular."
- King Charles II (SAM NEILL)
"I find the decoration here rather disturbing."
- Celia Clemence (POLLY WALKER) about the extravagant way Merivel (ROBERT DOWNEY JR.) has decorated their estate.
Academy Awards 1996 -
Best Art Direction - Set Decoration
Academy Awards 1996 -
Best Costume Design: James Acheson
Rolling Stone - 01/29/1996
"...Lively, lavish and grandly acted..."
Sight and Sound - 04/01/1996
"...The viewer is bombarded with enjoyable visual information and made to feel quite giddy with the unaccustomed grandiosity of it all..."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/19/1996
"...Charming....Downey struggles...manfully in the role..." -- Rating: B
Variety - 12/18/1995
"Resplendent in its evocation of teeming, gaudy, plague-stricken 17th-century England....[The] sweeping yet intimate drama boasts and exemplary cast headed by Robert Downey Jr., who does bravura work..."
Los Angeles Times - 12/27/1995
"...RESTORATION vividly recreates one of the most colorful chapters in English history....Gorgeously mounted and elegantly scored..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 01/26/1997
"...The film has many virtues...the most enchanting is simply the lust with which it depicts a bold and colorful era in history..."
During the 17th-century reign of Britain's Charles II a young physician is taken into the decadent court of the King. His talents for healing are overtaken by his even greater talents for debauchery, and he is exiled after falling in love with his wife--the king's mistress. On the outside, he rediscovers his true calling in the plague-infested streets of London. Based on Rose Tremain's 1989 novel. Academy Awards: 2, including Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction.
This lavishly-mounted costume drama focuses on one of England's most fascinating periods: the restoration of the monarchy after 11 years of Puritan rule, which led to an explosion of culture and learning. A young, womanizing doctor named Robert Merivel earns the admiration of Charles II after curing the King's sick dog. For his achievement, the King gives Merivel an estate. However, the doctor must also marry Celia Clemence, the monarch's mistress. Although Celia has been causing the King some headaches, he still wants to keep her close by. A sham marriage, he reasons, will make her less troublesome. Charles picks Merivel to be the groom because of the playboy doctor's seeming inability to fall in love with any one woman. However, Robert does indeed fall in love with Celia, which the King is none too pleased to discover. Stripped of his land, Merivel joins his friend, John, a doctor who's treating patients at a remote Quaker asylum. There, he helps a young Irish woman and the two become lovers. But he returns to the city to find himself caught up in two of the period's most famous events -- the outbreak of the bubonic plague and the Great Fire of London.
Period Piece |
Personal Triumph |
Released theatrically in New York City December 29, 1995. The film grossed $4 million domestically.
Co-produced by Segue Productions.
Additional cast: Hugh McDiarmid (Ambrose), Mary Macleod (Midwife), Mark Letheren (Daniel).
The film's budget was $18 million.
The film's source novel, written by Rose Tremain, was on the short list for England's Booker Prize.
Soundtrack available on Milan CDs and cassettes.
Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification.