The Remains of the Day (1993)

PG   |    |  Drama, Romance


The Remains of the Day (1993) Poster

A butler who sacrificed body and soul to service in the years leading up to World War II realizes too late how misguided his loyalty was to his lordly employer.

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7.9/10
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  • Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in The Remains of the Day (1993)
  • Emma Thompson in The Remains of the Day (1993)
  • Anthony Hopkins in The Remains of the Day (1993)
  • Ralph Fiennes and Natasha Richardson in Howards End (1992)
  • Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in The Remains of the Day (1993)
  • The Remains of the Day (1993)

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14 July 2003 | jckruize
8
| Muted drama with excellent performances.
Impeccably cast and produced in typical Merchant-Ivory manner, this understated drama features superb performances by two of the finest actors in modern cinema, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Both an acid indictment of the British class system and an unflinching portrayal of a man who in the end cannot transcend his largely self-imposed limitations, the film is both fascinating and agonizing to watch and its cumulative emotional impact will stay with you long after it's over.

There is an exquisite moment near the finale when Thompson's character bares only slightly a hint of the feelings she has for Hopkins, an allusion to what might have been between them. And Hopkins, in his consummate skill, maintains in both facial and vocal expressions the most non-committal of replies; his face a mask of bland affability but his eyes dark with the knowledge that he is a dead man who has wasted his life. With no outward show of emotion, the scene is devastating.

THE REMAINS OF THE DAY may not be a happy film, but it is a memorable and powerful one.

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