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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

October 11, 2013 at 9:49 AM

The return of ‘Howards End’

Remember “Howards End,” one of the loveliest and most haunting of that remarkable string of ’80s and ’90s Merchant-Ivory films? (I never can decide whether “Howards End” or “The Remains of the Day” is my favorite. Maybe I need to watch them both again. Both, perhaps not coincidentally, star Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.) Based on a classic novel by E.M. Forster, “Howards End” won three Oscars upon its release in 1992, for art direction, screenwriting (the great Ruth Prawer Jhabvala) and best actress (Thompson, playing the elder of two intellectual London sisters in the early 20th century). News comes today that “Howards End” will live again, adapted by playwright/filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan (“Margaret,” “You Can Count on Me”) for the BBC. It’s envisioned as a four-part miniseries, which will give this version a little more time than the movie to dwell on the book’s complex characters. No dates are set, which means we’ll just have to wait. Looking forward to hearing more about this one, particularly casting.

Here’s a lovely scene from the Merchant/Ivory movie, in which Hopkins, playing a widower whose late wife befriended Thompson’s character, makes an awkward proposal. Pity that nowadays, it’s rare to see a semi-romantic interval concluded by the necessity of collecting one’s gloves and hat. Happy weekend, all!

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