Rarely has a screen adaptation of a work of classic literature been pulled off with as much intelligence, power, and artistry as James Ivory and Ismail Merchant’s film of E. M. Forster’s Howards End. In her star-making, Oscar-winning performance, an effulgent Emma Thompson plays Margaret Schlegel, a liberal-minded, middle-class Londoner in Edwardian England whose fate becomes intertwined with the upper-crust Wilcoxes, Henry and Ruth (Anthony Hopkins and Vanessa Redgrave), as well as the working-class Leonard Bast (Samuel West), both due to dalliances of her free-spirited sister, Helen (Helena Bonham Carter). The Merchant-Ivory team’s renowned attention to detail and emotion is here put in the service of a complex and penetrating study of irreconcilable class issues, in which a story of inheritance—of Ruth’s splendid country home, Howards End—comes to stand in for the future of an entire country. We are pleased to present this three-time Oscar winner in a beautiful new 4K digital restoration, with director James Ivory in person.
Q&A with James Ivory
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