The Remains of the Day (1993)

The Remains of the Day (1993) — Having recently finished the brilliant Kazuo Ishiguro book on which this film is based I decided to watch this movie.  Doing so was a reminder of why it’s often best to place a certain distance between the completion of a novel and viewing its film adaptation.  All in all The Remains of the Day is a very good film but there a few things I felt were suffering in the adaptation.  This goes against my policy of judging films on their own merits as opposed to faithfulness to source material but I’m human and I just can’t help it.  The movie is very well-cast with Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, James Fox, Christopher Reeve, Peter Vaughn, and Hugh Grant all fantastic in their roles.  The only MAJOR problem I had with the movie was the music.  It’s always going and overshadowing the events that unfold.  At times it’s louder than the dialogue.  It bugged me.  As far as other more minor problems they all stem from comparisons with the novel.  Being written in the first-person, the reader is far more privy to the thoughts of a man who doesn’t express his true thoughts out of a sense of propriety.  This is more or less dealt with by Anthony Hopkins’s insanely expressive eyes.  The story of the movie remains as heartbreaking as it was in the novel but sometimes the direction seems a bit stage-y.  I really did like the movie though.  I think my biggest problem is just that Kazuo Ishiguro is a better writer than James Ivory is a director.

One Response to “The Remains of the Day (1993)”
  1. Sam says:

    Agreed-Hopkins doesn’t have to say anything at all, his face and his eyes primarily are man, like you said, insanely expressive. I find it to be that way in all his roles. Brilliant!!

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