Remains of the Day: Ivory’s Tale of Upstairs Downstairs

British actors Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson have been darlings of the art-house public ever since they teamed together in the surprise hit, Howards End, James Ivory and Ismail Merchant’s adaptation of E.M. Forster’s classic novel.
Both performers have won prestigious prizes, including the most coveted Oscar Award. Hopkins and Thompson are now seen together for the first time in James Ivory’s The Remains of the Day, based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s l988 British novel. An epic historical drama, Remains of the Day is as lush and sumptuous as Martin Scorsese’s Age of Innocence, but it’s far more satisfying–and resonant–emotionally and intellectually.

Adapted to the screen by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, it’s a tale of the British upper class in the l930s, the fateful decade between the two major wars. What makes the story fascinating is that Stevens, Hopkins’ hero, is a devoted butler whose veneration of his masters dominates–and later destroys–his personal life. Thompson plays Miss Kenton, a maid hired by Stevens and the only spirited person with the audacity to challenge him and bring to the surface the tensions inherent in being servants.

Director Ivory first read the book in 1989, while he was shooting Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, in Kansas City. “I knew at once that I wanted to make it into film,” he says, “The story revolved around a classic triangle, with Stevens the butler torn between his loyalty to his dubious master, Lord Darlington (James Fox), and his growing and unsuspected feelings for the housekeeper, feelings that went both unexpressed and unexamined.”

The milieu, “a great aristocratic establishment centered in an English country house seen from the perspective of the staff,” was also intriguing for Ivory. Ivory has directed a number of historical films set in England, such as The Europeans, Maurice, and the Oscar-winning A Room With a View.

Set on a large estate, Remains of the Day offers fascinating notions about the personal, behind-the-scenes dimensions of high-level politics. Observing a 1939 political conference hosted by Lord Darlington, the film shows most concretely how crucial political decisions are made and how the fear of–and fascination with–Hitler led to some disastrous results. It’s like scrutinizing history from a distance and from backstage, the kitchen and the servants’ areas, where most of the action takes place.

Ivory describes Stevens’ character as “a bit like a priest who puts his life almost on an altar. He serves his lord unconditionally, it’s a mentality we don’t know so well in the U.S., except in the military or priesthood.” Writer Kazuo Ishiguro sees his tale as “a road story, only here it’s a journey into Stevens’ inner self.” “You have to be alert to what’s going on around you,” adds screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, “You can’t just shut your eyes and say, ‘I’m doing my duty,’ and not realize what that duty involves.”

Remains of the Day points out some significant differences between the class system in England and in the U.S. Class orientation is much stronger in Britain, where there are far less opportunities for mobility. One of the most touching sub-plots of the film is the relationship between Hopkins and his aging father (played to perfection by Peter Vaughan), a man who insists on carrying on his duties up until his death. Stevens’ father is actually proud of his position, which also suggests why the British class structure has been rigid and slow in changing. The servants’ absolute acceptance of their inferior positions perpetuated the domination of the upper class.

Perfectly cast, Hopkins embodies the stolid, repressed and unreflective butler. “The butler’s job,” says the noted actor, “is just to serve his master and to accommodate these great dinners. Hitler’s ambassador comes to Darlington Hall to meet secretly with Prime Minister Chamberlain and yet Stevens always remains detached.” Indeed, when Darlington’s godson challenges the butler to comment on what’s going on, the only thing he says is, “It’s none of my business to know, my business is to serve.”

In Howards End, the chemistry between Hopkins and Thompson was so strong that Ivory wanted the actress for Miss Kenton from the outset of the production. Thompson is once again playing a role that enables her to display her sharp angles and tart common sense. “Miss Kenton is a very strong-minded woman,” states Ivory, “You can’t have Emma play anybody but an articulate and intelligent woman, because she herself embodies these qualities. It would be such a waste not to use them.”

Thompson says she was challenged by the complexity of the story and characters. She explains: “Normally, we see very simple screen relationships–usually based on sex–and that is not very exciting to relate to.” Thompson has been vocal in her criticism of the limited roles allotted to women in American and British films. “If we don’t represent people–particularly women–over the age of 40,” she reasons, “we might have a whole generation frightened of getting older.”

However, making a film about emotional repression brought loving, if also painful, memories of her childhood. “My father was very repressed,” the actress says candidly, “but luckily he married a ‘mad’ Scottish woman, my mother.” Thompson claims she inherited her healthy humor from her mother and that she had opportunities to develop it early on in her career, while she performed as a stand-up comic in nightclubs.

But if Howards End was Thompson’s film by her role’s size and magnitude, Remains of the Day belongs to Hopkins. Still, in both films, Hopkins and Thompson play such unlikely lovers that some critics have begun to describe them as the “British Tracy and Hepburn.” Neither actor opposes to this comparison; in fact, they are quick to point out that off-screen they also function as opposites, separated by a generation of experience.

Hopkins made an indelible impression, reaching his widest audience to date, as the brilliant serial killer in The Silence of the Lambs (1990), for which he won an Oscar. He’s not only one of the most respected performers in the world, but also one of the busiest. In l992 alone, he boasted a striking record of four movies, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Chaplin.

Graduating from one of England’ best acting schools, RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts), Hopkins belongs to a rare breed of actors who have left their mark on virtually every medium: theatre, film, and television. His TV work has earned him two Emmy Awards: as Bruno Hauptmann in The Lindbergh Kidnapping and as Adolph Hitler in The Bunker. In l987, Hopkins was awarded the prestigious “Commander of the Order” of the British Empire. And he gives such a superlative, deceptively effortless, performance in Remains of the Day that he should earn another Oscar nomination.

Asked about the effects of the Oscar on their respective careers, Thompson says: “What does change after winning an Oscar is that more people in the business know about you, you’re more likely to get opportunities offered to you, and people are much nicer to you in offices!” Both performers readily admit “America has been very generous to British actors.”

“Fortunately,” Ivory says, “many of our collaborators from Howards End, cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts, production designer Luciana Arrighi, editor Andrew Marcus, composer Richard Robbins, were available, which is why the film was made so swiftly.” The special relationship that prevails with their favorite screenwriter, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (who won an Oscar from A Room With a View) is based on the mutual agreement that they don’t interfere in each other’s work–unless it’s necessary.

This kind of familiarity also contributes to the fun ambience on the set of an Ivory-Merchant movie. Producer Merchant, who had met and begun working with Ivory in l961, cultivates his hobby–cooking–on the set. “Once a week I cook for the cast Italian or French cuisine,” says the producer, “and the actors, including the stars, serve the food.”

Ivory says that Hopkins and Thompson jointly create “such an absolutely magical world, onscreen and off, that I never try to twist out of shape what they do.” The two actors fondly recall the captions they each wrote under the continuity Polaroid’s taken during the shooting. “They were really rude,” Thompson, allows, “like Tony (Hopkins) once wrote, ‘I guess we couldn’t get Meryl Streep for your role, or something like that.'” And while both are extremely meticulous pros, neither liked to stay “in the mood of the character all the time.”

The Merchant-Ivory collaborative efforts are often described as literary cinema, because, as the director says, “our work benefits from wonderful authors. I’m grateful that I’ve found great books.” As for their noted respect for acting, Ivory says “Some directors aren’t interested in what the actors are doing,” but I’m not one of them. Actors who work in our films know that they’ll get respect and encouragement from us and that their performances will have integrity.

The Remains of the Day serves as the best proof to Ivory’s beliefs. One of the best films of 1993, this poignant and touching story features glorious performances by Hopkins, Thompson and every other actor in the cast.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88