THE REMAINS OF THE DAY takes place in 1958 as James Stevens (Anthony Hopkins), a man of late middle age and the head butler at the sumptuous Darlington Hall, begins a motor journey across southern England to the West Country. The purpose of his trip, we learn, is to persuade Ms. Sally Kenton (Emma Thompson), once head housekeeper at Darlington Hall, to resume her old position and, perhaps, a bit more.
Most of the story is told in a series of flashbacks and we gradually come to know Stevens, Ms. Kenton and Lord Darlington (James Fox). Although THE REMAINS OF THE DAY centers on the relationship between Stevens and Ms. Kenton, there are subtle, but definite, political undertones in this film, for Lord Darlington is, of all things, a Nazi sympathizer who wants to prevent war. I've heard criticisms of the film because this subplot wasn't explored in greater detail, but I think Ishiguro (and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala) wrote just enough. To have expanded this subplot might have been interesting, but it would have definitely detracted from the more interesting main plot line, the relationship between Stevens and Ms. Kenton.
Almost from the beginning of the film, it's clear that Stevens and Ms. Kenton love each other. While Ms.Read more ›
My expectation was that when I was able to view the film on DVD in its original wide screen format, all that extra screen space that normally gets cut away to modify the picture for television would be viewable again. I was mistaken. I popped my VHS tape in the VCR and my new DVD in its player and set the TV to show both VHS and DVD side by side (I'd been wanting to do this for years). What I saw surprised me. The VHS version does indeed remove some of the picture from the sides. What I didn't expect is that it has additional picture on the top and bottom that the wide screen release on DVD does NOT. The important issue here is that the additional picture provided in the wide screen film provides LESS usable information toward the visual translation of the film than the 4:3 aspect for VHS/TV which provides more real estate top and bottom. Case and point:
Probably the most important scene in the film is "The Book". Miss Kenton corners Mr. Stephens in his office and pries a book from his hands. This is the most intimate moment for the couple. In the VHS version the struggle with the book in picture can clearly be watched. In the DVD version the bottom of the frame impedes this subject matter; the book and her hands struggling with his.Read more ›
An American mother lost four out of five of her sons at war in Vietnam during 1954. Read more