7 September 2000 | kdufre00
One of my all time favorite movies.
"Howards End" is certainly one of the best films of the last decade. I have seen this film several times over the past 7 years and each time I find myself in complete awe. I love how its intricate story gradually unfolds layer by layer, involving us more and more with the characters. "Howards End" also boasts breath-taking cinematography by Tony Pierce-Roberts and a rousing and rueful musical score by Richard Robbins.
The ensemble cast is perhaps the best reason to see this film. Emma Thompson won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance, and deservedly so! This is her best performance and her best film, in my opinion. I loved watching the character development in her portrayal of Margaret Schlegel, as she transforms from an open-minded intellectual to a class-conscious social climber. What's remarkable is that we still feel for her greatly as she is going through this transition. She still remains a sympathetic character up until the very end when she slowly comes back to her senses.
Anthony Hopkins also gives one of his best performances as the cold and hypocritical Henry Wilcox. So many scenes shed different lights onto his character. The scene where he proposes to Margaret stands out in particular. There is plenty of erotic tension, but at the same time it almost feels like he is making some sort of impersonal business venture with her.
Vanessa Redgrave is a presence to behold as the fragile Ruth Wilcox. Her performance may be brief, but it leaves an indelible mark, particularly in later scenes when Margaret visits Howards End. Helena Bonham Carter should have gotten an Oscar nomination for her performance. She really has great depth and passion that is well-suited to her character. The rest of the supporting cast is superb. Even the minor characters like Nicola Duffet's Jackie Bast and Jemma Redgrave's stony-faced Evie Wilcox are noteworthy.
"Howards End" is one of the richest, most nuanced films I have seen. It is beautifully shot, well-acted, and exquisitely directed. It deserves to be considered a classic.