James IvoryUK140 minutes1987ColourEnglish
View Maurice during the Books on Film: James Ivory on Maurice event.
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Merchant Ivory's adaptation of E.M. Forster's 1914 novel (which was suppressed until after the author's death in 1970) was highly honoured at the Venice Film Festival, where director James Ivory shared the Silver Lion with Ermanno Olmi and stars James Wilby and Hugh Grant (in his first leading role) were jointly awarded the Best Actor prize. Maurice (Wilby) is a young middle-class man who falls in love with his best friend at Cambridge, Clive Durham (Grant), who returns his love but insists on keeping their relationship platonic, claiming that any physical consummation of their passion would cheapen them. When Clive marries a naïve rich girl under pressure from his mother, Maurice is devastated and falls into a deep cycle of depression. A powerful, pained and candid look at homosexual desire in a particularly unforgiving time and place, Maurice is "sprawling and spectacular … Subtle, sensitive, and every bit as swoony as a Barbara Cartland bodice-ripper" (The Washington Post).