Saturday, December 01, 2012

Past Perfect: The Remains of the Day (1993)

Home movie gems from the past few decades that need some dusting but never get old.

Remains

Before Downton Abbey and Gosford Park, there was another understated but meticulous treasure that showed the world of servitude and dedication to one’s household in all its soul-destroying detail. A couple of years after he first terrorized the world as Hannibal Lecter, Anthony Hopkins gave a completely different but no less amazing performance as a butler who realises that his loyalties and priorities might have been misplaced. Emma Thompson is sublime as his co-star, but it is Hopkins who commands our attention and subtly makes our blood boil. There’s no action, there’s no overstated melodrama, but with the smallest of his gestures one realises the enormity of what has happened in his life. This is not one to watch if you’re feeling sleepy or being interrupted. It’s one to savour with your eyes and ears wide open.

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