Written by E M Forster and then hidden under his bed, for fear of prosecution and exile, Maurice remains a touchstone for gay cinema. At the time of release, it did not reach the same dizzying heights of plaudits as other Forster adaptations but Maurice is an exquisite, elegant representation of falling in love and being yourself. James Ivory adapted this story and some might find it reminiscent of his later scripted film, Call Me By Your Name.
In pre-World War I England, Maurice Hall (James Wilby) and Clive Durham (Hugh Grant) find themselves falling in love while attending the University of Cambridge. In a time when homosexuality was punishable by imprisonment, the two must keep their feelings for one another a complete secret. After their friend Lord Risley (Mark Tandy) is arrested and sentenced to six months of hard labour after soliciting sex from a soldier, Clive abandons his forbidden love and marries a young woman. Maurice, however, struggles with questions of his identity and self-confidence, seeking the help of a hypnotist (Ben Kingsley) to rid himself of his undeniable urges.
A moving and refined portrait of repression and finally, acceptance.
★★★★★ “Its fascination and power are even more intense 30 years on.” - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Winner of the 1987 Venice Film Festival awards for Silver Lion - James Ivory, Best Actor - James Wilby and Hugh Grant, and Best Score - Richard Robbins