Restoration

Restoration

4.0 2
Director: Michael Hoffman

Cast: Michael Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr., Sam Neill, David Thewlis

     
 

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This lavish historical drama based on the acclaimed novel by Rose Tremain won Oscars for Costume Design and Art Direction. Robert Downey, Jr. stars as Robert Merivel, a gifted medical student of the 17th century who ignores his studies in favor of pursuing debauched fun -- much to the consternation of his high-minded Quaker colleague John Pearce (David Thewlis).… See more details below

Overview

This lavish historical drama based on the acclaimed novel by Rose Tremain won Oscars for Costume Design and Art Direction. Robert Downey, Jr. stars as Robert Merivel, a gifted medical student of the 17th century who ignores his studies in favor of pursuing debauched fun -- much to the consternation of his high-minded Quaker colleague John Pearce (David Thewlis). Merivel achieves the high societal status he covets when he's summoned by King Charles II (Sam Neill). Merivel is chagrined to find that he's expected to care for the king's ailing spaniel, but the dog rallies and Merivel joins court. When one of Charles' mistresses, Celia (Polly Walker) becomes uppity, Charles arranges her marriage to Merivel. In return for keeping Celia in a pretend marriage, he receives an estate and knighthood. Merivel, however, falls in love with Celia and, betrayed by an eccentric painter (Hugh Grant), inspires the king's wrath. Banished and stripped of his wealth, Merivel rediscovers love with an Irish mental patient (Meg Ryan). He also rediscovers his passion for medicine during London's Great Fire and the Black Plague.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
A superb costume drama that stumbles occasionally due to its effort to rush through a picaresque structure (the production probably should have been a two-part BBC television miniseries), this adaptation of an acclaimed historical novel represents some the best work from troubled actor Robert Downey Jr. He's typically memorable in his role of a spoiled poseur who finds, as in so many redemption dramas from It's a Wonderful Life (1946) to Groundhog Day (1993), that his salvation lies in lancing his own egotistical, selfish drives. What sets director Michael Hoffman's film apart from the pack is its ravishing period look (the film took home a pair of Oscars for costume design and art direction) and the fact that it's loosely based on actual events and people, providing a relatively authentic peek at a fascinating historical epoch. Downey Jr. is ably supported by an eclectic and well-chosen cast, particularly by Sam Neill as the imperious King Charles II, Ian McKellen as the clever servant Will Gates, David Thewlis as an upright Quaker colleague, and Meg Ryan as an Irish mental patient. Those convinced that Ryan can play only the cute, daffy career-woman-in-love of her numerous romantic comedies would do well to check out her performances here and in Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) and Courage Under Fire (1996) for a primer on what a talented, underrated actress she really is. Restoration (1995) would have been better served by a more studious, paced, and even-handed approach, but the film is a solid period piece that deserves to be seen by genre fans who may have missed its brief theatrical run.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/12/2011
UPC:
0096009771799
Original Release:
1994
Rating:
R
Source:
Miramax Echo Bridge
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:58:00
Sales rank:
60,220

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Downey Robert Merivel
Sam Neill Charles II
David Thewlis John Pearce
Polly Walker Celia Clemence
Meg Ryan Katherine
Ian McKellen Will Gates
Hugh Grant Elias Finn
Mary McLeod Midwife

Technical Credits
Michael Hoffman Director
James Acheson Costumes/Costume Designer
Sarah Ryan Black Producer
Cary Brokaw Producer
Garth Craven Editor
Donna Gigliotti Co-producer
Kip Hagopian Executive Producer
James Newton Howard Score Composer
Simon Kaye Sound/Sound Designer
Andy Paterson Producer
Oliver Stapleton Cinematographer
Rupert Walters Screenwriter
Bob Weinstein Co-producer
Harvey Weinstein Co-producer
Eugenio Zanetti Production Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Restoration
1. Royal College Hospital [6:08]
2. Living Heart [7:43]
3. Impressing the King [9:27]
4. The Bride [7:41]
5. Rough Morning [8:41]
6. The King's Wishes [9:34]
7. Merivel's Plea [6:23]
8. Visiting Pearce [5:43]
9. Treating Katharine [6:10]
10. Healing Dance [6:30]
11. Ailing Friend [9:50]
12. The Plague [5:38]
13. Emergency Surgery [7:43]
14. Lady Celia's Illness [8:02]
15. Dear Blessings [11:59]

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