U.K., 140 min, 4K DCP, 1987, Dir. James Ivory, Rated R, Cohen Media Group
"It's woozy, unadulturated romance, an intoxicating tuxedo-ripper set against the elegant priggishness of England's post-Edwardian gentry.” — Rita Kempley, Washington Post
A gay art cinema trailblazer about love and loss, Merchant-Ivory's adaptation of E.M. Forster's posthumously published novel serves as a poignant attack on the stifling conformity and repression of English society on the eve of WW1. Maurice (James Wilby) is forced to struggle alone to come to terms with his sexual identity after his first love Clive (Hugh Grant) abandons him for a respectable marriage, denying his true desires. Then an encounter with Scudder (Rupert Graves), Clive's groundskeeper, opens up new possibilities for the heartbroken Maurice. Thirty years ago Maurice won Best Director, Best Actor (both Wilby and Grant) and Best Music (Richard Robbins) on its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Now, on the occasion of its 4K restoration, Village Voice critic Bilge Ebiri writes: "It's only recently been celebrated for how groundbreaking it was, and its importance in the development of gay cinema." Director James Ivory replies: "Its story has a happy ending. Forster always wanted that. In that way, it was maybe ahead of its time."
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