April 11th, 2010

andrew potter

Maurice (1987) directed by James Ivory

Director: James Ivory

Writers:E.M. Forster (from the novel by)
Kit Hesketh-Harvey (screenplay) and
James Ivory (screenplay)

Release Date: September 1987 (Venice Film Festival, Italy)
18 September 1987 (USA)

Genre: Drama, Romance

Plot: Set against the stifling conformity of pre-World War I English society, E.M. Forster’s Maurice is a story of coming to terms with one’s sexuality and identity in the face of disapproval and misunderstanding. Maurice Hall (James Wilby) and Clive Durham (Hugh Grant) find themselves in love at Cambridge. In a time when homosexuality was punishable by imprisonment, the two must keep their feelings for one another a complete secret, even though Clive refuses to allow their relationship to move beyond the boundaries of "platonic" love. After a friend is arrested and disgraced for "the unspeakable crime of the Greeks," Clive abandons his forbidden love, marries, and enters into the political arena. Maurice, however, struggles with questions of his identity and self-confidence, even seeking the help of a hypnotist to rid himself of his undeniable urges. But while staying with Clive and his shallow wife, Anne, Maurice is seduced by the affectionate and yearning servant Alec Scudder, (Rupert Graves), an event that brings about profound changes in Maurice’s life and outlook. Sparking direction by James Ivory, a distinguished performance from the ensemble cast, and a charged score by Richard Robbins all combine to create a film of undeniable power, one that is both romantic and moving, and a story of love and self-discovery for all audiences.

Awards: 1988 Oscar Nomination as Best Costume Design (Jenny Beavan, John Bright), Academy Awards, USA
1987 Best Actor Award to Hugh Grant tied with James Wilby, Venice Film Festival.
1987 Golden Osella for Best Music to Richard Robbins, Venice Film Festival.
1987 Silver Lion to James Ivory, Venice Film Festival.
1987 Golden Lion Nomination to James Ivory, Venice Film Festival.

@Amazon: Maurice
@Wolfe Video

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Cast (in credits order) verified as complete
James Wilby ... Maurice Hall
Hugh Grant ... Clive Durham
Rupert Graves ... Alec Scudder
Denholm Elliott ... Doctor Barry
Simon Callow ... Mr. Ducie
Billie Whitelaw ... Mrs. Hall
Barry Foster ... Dean Cornwallis
Judy Parfitt ... Mrs. Durham
Phoebe Nicholls ... Anne Durham
Patrick Godfrey ... Simcox
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Maurice, Clive &


andrew potter

Love Means… No Shame by Andrew Grey

When the book starts, the character of Geoff is not exactly a good one, or better, he seemed to me a man without motivation; he is a young accountant who accepted an average job soon out of college and who seems happy to have a one night stand after the other without strings attached. The slutty character can be funny and also hiding some deep down buried insecurities, with someone searching in sex a reaffirmation that he has not found in his family: that is not the case of Geoff. Geoff is the son of a same sex couple, and he was raised in harmony; when he realized he was gay, there was no drama or shunning, and so he had no need to rebel. Basically Geoff had no stimulus to be firm and to take his own decision, since till now he has never had some sort of turning point in his life.

His biological father’s death after a long illness forces Geoff to come back home, and even if it sounds harsh, I think that it’s a good thing for Geoff: for the first time in his life he is the one who has to take the responsibility for his decisions. What he decides influences the life of who is around him, and if he is not a good leader he has to suffer the consequences. Truth be told, aside the little moment of sadness due to Geoff’s father death, the novel is more or less a summa of good feelings and exaltation of the good life you have in the country. More if you put it in comparison to the swallow life Geoff was conducting in the city; not only Geoff finally finds the reasons to give a right direction to his life, he also finds love in the arms of Elijah, a young Amish boy who is searching his own direction in life far from his community, and who finds shelter in Geoff’s farm.

Elijah considers himself a rebel, but basically since he wants the simple things of life that Amish people consider forbidden. And above all, Elijah is too much spirited to blend in the Amish community, he is one to question everything, and he is not able to accept things only since someone else says it’s right like that. I don’t know if Elijah was really gay when he arrives to Geoff’s farm, even if he admits to have had forbidden thoughts on a same age guy in the community, but maybe he was only curious. Elijah falls in love with Geoff not since Geoff is a man, but since Geoff is someone who Elijah likes in every aspect of his personality: Geoff is accepting, generous, open and yes, even simple. Elijah needs simplicity in his life, needs people to speak “plain” to him, not since he is not clever, but since Elijah has not protective layers around him, he is not able to hide behind hypocrisy.

Even if more or less, Geoff’s farm is an haven for lost boys, gays or not gays, it’s not all a paradise; truth, the author chose to have quite a pink glasses perspective on the story, for example he didn’t spend a lot of words in explaining how Geoff’s biological dad and his partner were allowed to live together and raise a kid when homosexuality was still a taboo (even if there is a prequel of the book where this story is probably told in details), but outside the farm it’s not always easy for Geoff and his young Amish lover. There are prejudices, even in Geoff’s same family, but Geoff has the luck to be in a favourable position, owner of his business, and without need to ask help to anyone. He gets the knife from the handle, and he lives the life he wants to.


Amazon: Love Means... No Shame

Amazon Kindle: Love Means... No Shame

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