Producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala have collaborated on an exquisite screen adaptation of E. M. Forster's 1910 novel Howards End. This Columbia TriStar Home Video release showcases their appreciation for period detail, psychological nuance, and character development. Top-drawer performances are registered by Academy Award winner Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, Anthony Hopkins, and Vanessa Redgrave as members of two rich families who have an indelible impact upon each other.
In the opening scene, a woman glides across the yard toward the house she loves. She takes in everything with wonder and appreciation. Later, she meets a kindred spirit and decides to bequeath her ancestral home to this woman. However, when she dies, her husband disregards her request.
Although set in Edwardian England, the film speaks forcefully to contemporary concerns including the gulf between the rich and the poor, the ways values shape families, and the clash between opinionated men and women. The most pleasing theme of Howards End is its presentation of how people and places that are meant to be together cannot be kept apart. Each of us has a special spot on earth that brings out the best in us. Howards End celebrates that connection and shows how a place can be a bearer of spiritual nourishment.