How sad is this?
Although it has its amusing moments, in eneral the plot does not convince.
Great story, amazing characters, superb action, enthralling cinematography. Yes, this is something I am glad I spent money on.
There are special series that, once purchased, remain on the 'active' shelf for frequent viewing, so fine are they in literally every aspect of production. HOWARDS END is certainly one of those rare UK series that is intelligent, richly evocative of a period of history passed, brilliantly acted and filmed, and succeeds in taking a great novel to an even higher level of appreciation.EM Forster's fine novel was ably adapted for the four part series by Kenneth Longeran and the fine direction is by Hettie Macdonald that is a visualization of Forster's Edwardian England. The story is well known - the juxtaposition of social classes in conflict as played out by the wealthy and stuffy Wilcox family (who owns a country house called Howards End) and represents the staid, controlled mentality of the rich versus the more worldly wise and enlightened Schlegel sisters - women concerned with feminism, social causes, cultural pursuits, and the plight of the disenfranchised. Neither side of this battle is free of gray zones: the matriarch of the Wilcox family is gentle Ruth (Julia Ormond) who befriends the elder Meg Schlegel (Hayley Atwell) and shares her love for Howard's End and all that truly fine and meaningful life it represents, while husband Henry (Matthew Macfadyen) remains a cold controlling isolate. When Ruth dies Henry and Meg oddly marry in a cold relationship. Meg's sister Helen (Philippa Coulthard), the free spirit, entangles her family with a poor clerk (Joseph Quinn) and his wife (Rosalind Eleazar) out of generosity based on the arts, and allows herself to engage in the Edwardian taboo of becoming pregnant before marriage! Many characters intertwine in this match of classes with tragic consequences and struggles for rights, and always at the core of the climaxes is the existence of the meaningful controversy over money and position and title and property (Howards End). The masterful way in which Forster keeps this symbol in the foreground in the midst of the complex story of people at odds is one of the finer achievements of 20th century literature, and the director and cast and production team bring the epic to life with great dignity, beauty, and sensitivity.There are endless reviews of the storyline of the novel and the film and repeating any of that is superfluous. To fully appreciate the story one must read the novel and see the film and series, there is that much value to be gained. The performances are all first rate in that extraordinary British acting style of understatement. There are moments of natural beauty in the gardens and grounds of Howards End that remain etched in memory as though they were paintings in a museum. Not only is this series a 'must see' for all audiences, it is a one that should be part of the cinematic library of all who love film. Highly Recommended.
Love the book, and EM Forster's other work, and the 1992 film is not only one of the best Forster adaptations it is a wonderful film in its own right. BBC have done a lot of very good to outstanding period drama adaptations and the cast are a talented lot, so a large part of me was really looking forward to their adaptation of 'Howard's End'.Watching all four episodes, found myself finding a lot to like about 'Howard's End' (2017) but feeling also it had its short-comings that stopped me from loving it. Of this and the 1992 film, as unfair it would seem to compare, there is no question which is the better one of the two, with the 2017 adaptation lacking the nuanced depth, emotion and elegance of the film. There is a lot to like about 'Howard's End' (2017). It is impeccably made visually, with the period detail sumptuous and evocative, stylish costumes, beautiful photography and even more beautiful scenery/locations. The direction is admirably restrained without being pedestrian. 'Howard's End' (2017) is intelligent and controlled, doing a lovely job exploring Forster's many themes and insights that still hold relevance and provoke thought today (at least to me). Appreciated the subtle, restrained approach to the storytelling, and on the most part keeps the many layers and characterisation interesting.Casting is also strong, with the standouts being Hayley Atwell, capturing Margaret's good intentions, spirit and emotional repression with ease, and a movingly poised Julia Ormond. Matthew MacFadyen brings a suitable amount of charisma. A lot of talk has been made about the diversity, this didn't bother me at all and am sure Forster himself wouldn't have been bothered by it, it didn't seem jarring and to me it seems to be something insignificant blown out of proportion.On the other hand, as indicated, 'Howard's End' had its shortcomings. The first episode was something of a slow starter, it needed more zest and tighter pacing for an episode that felt more like set up than anything else. Stick with it though, because the other three episodes improve on this when the story and characters become richer and deeper. Timeline changes could have been clearer, sometimes it did feel jumpy and one doesn't know how much time has passed. For me, and quite a few others it seemed, the music was a bit too intrusive and the sound could have been toned down. While the cast were on the most part very impressive, Tracy Ullman overdoes it a bit.In summary, good but could have been more. 7/10 Bethany Cox
Matthew McFayden and Hayley Atwell just lit up the screen... I thought perhaps the glory days of BBC Sunday night costume dramas had past, but their performances here were wonderful, the control and command of the dialogue was exquisite. A delight.I have given 9 out of 10, so I will note that a few minor quibbles: - Some of the plot elements were a bit clunky - It wasn't always clear how much time had elapsed or how much the characters had aged - It felt a little stretched out to episodes
In a whole one hour episode virtually nothing happens, various vacuous letters are exchanged, and that is about it.The locations are superb, and a very good cast, but the whole thing is utterly, utterly vapid.Uninspired, colourless, uninteresting, feeble, flat, dead, dull, boring, tedious, tired, unexciting, uninspiring, unimaginative, lifeless, zest-less and spiritless