The City of Your Final Destination

I can’t believe I forgot to blog about this wonderful film I saw in a NYC theater last weekend. I have been a HUGE Merchant Ivory fan for years especially loving the quartet of perfect films they produced, A Room with a View, Maurice, Howards End and The Remains of the Day. This film brings back some of that gorgeous costume drama sumptuousness now wrapped in a modern bow. There is a stark sort of beauty found in this film. The Uruguay mansion is beautiful not for its perfection but for its wear and tear veering into ruin. Merchant Ivory veteran Anthony Hopkins plays his first gay role as subtle and natural as one would expect from this team. Omar Metwally is the eager young American hoping to change everyone’s mind. Laura Linney is perfection as the territorial matriarch balancing Charlotte Gainsbourg’s sad lonely mistress. And Hiroyuki Sanada plays Hopkins longtime lover Pete in a strong subtle way that makes this minor role stand out. This is a slow boil film. It’s Merchant Ivory. It’s gorgeous and it reminded me why I have loved the team of life partners Ismael Merchant and James Ivory along with their collaborator-writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala for so many years. With Merchant gone and Ivory well into his 80’s, I wonder if this is the last new film I will see from this amazing genre-producing trio. I can’t wait until it is released on DVD.

3/14/15: Merchant Ivory’s final film together, The City of Your Final Destination proves a sumptuous visual feast. Adapted from the novel by Peter Cameron with screenwriting credits going to long-time collaborator Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, this film has Merchant Ivory’s signature stamp all over it – gorgeous. So happy to have seen this a second time – on Blu-ray. Makes me want to go back and revisit some of their older films in the near future.


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