Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Remains of the Day

Sometimes I'm absolutely not inspired to blog, then my mom happens upon The Remains of the Day on TV.

The summer before college I got a TV/DVD player and Blockbuster online and I, in effect, watched most of the important costume dramas to that point in time. Amongst them were many Merchant/Ivory films. I read and/or purchased the accompanying books; read A Room With a View, bought Howards End. 

I was determined to read The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro before I watched the film and I couldn't wait to see it so I ran to the library and hunkered down...HOLD UP. I've been going through my journals and I cross referenced RofD that summer, but I guess I watched it the summer before my senior year, strange. Anyway, this is what I had to say after I read it...
Sunday 18 June 2006
Oh man, I just sobbed bitterly and uncontrollably for like five plus minutes at the end of The Remains of the Day. Are you joking me?...OH Stevens! I lost it, I was all sprawled on my bed from many a maneuver all night to try and get comfortable, my comforter all twisted, my mouth guard in, just sobbing and weeping uncontrollably...I just laid there all contorted absolutely blubbering... AOAoGH!

Huh, I can't find an entry about actually seeing the movie. I do say that the library didn't have it. Oh well, anyway....

The Remains of the Day is amazing. S'bout Stevens the butler and his butling. The book is his telling of the good ol' days of Darlington Hall right before the Second World War. You quickly realize that Stevens is the perfect butler because his sole, and I mean sole purpose in life is to be of the most assistance to his employer as possible no matter what his employer does, or what he feels for others. It's just profoundly heartbreaking and amazing. The film stars Anthony Hopkins as Stevens and Emma Thompson as Miss Kenton the housekeeper with James Fox as Lord Darlington and Hugh Grant as Lord Darlington's godson. It's absolutely magnificent. Hopkins and Thompson are my favorite on screen couple and are just, ah! just SO good! If you like Downton you'll LOVE this, it's pre-Julian Fellowes, back in the day when Merchant and Ivory were the name in aristocratic and posh British costume dramas.

Go read it, cry a lot.

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