In the Spring of 1905 the Schlegel family are drawn into the affairs of the Wilcox family via Helen Schlegel who has fallen for Paul Wilcox. Helen's older sister Margaret gets involved in a mix-up at...
Given Queen Elizabeth the First once remarked about the amount of coloured people in London, it is safe to assume we have had black and Asian people in England for centuries. Shakespeare even wrote a play about a black king. Back in the Victorian era there was a black policeman on the beat in Carlisle in 1837.
There was a magisterial film version of Howards End in 1993. This adaptation of the EM Forster novel was done by Kenneth Lonergan, fresh from his best screenplay Oscar success for Manchester by the Sea.
Set in Edwardian England we see a saga of three different families in the social and class divide. The wealthy Wilcoxes, the middle class and idealistic Schlegels and the lower class Basts.
I found this four part version rather slow going and flabby. It is very difficult to feel any sympathy for the selfish Wilcoxes with a couple of big houses, putting their oar in and causing misery for others especially the Basts. We never really see them doing any work for a living.
Even the Schlegels, a Jewish family from Germany who might be liberal idealists, they end up being comfortably off with Margaret marrying Henry Wilcox despite them having little romantic chemistry.
It is a shame about Leonard Bast, he always ends up with the brown end of the stick as others tell him what is best for him and then wish to give him a thrashing to the inch of his life.
I expected something better from Lonergan, something more waspish with a contemporary sting.
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