I wish this movie were more readily available — as far as I can tell, Maurice (1987) is only found on DVD and VHS these days, and the new DVDs are super-rare and expensive (used ones go cheaper). It doesn’t appear anywhere for legal streaming, and I’ve had a TiVo reminder set for ages to auto-record it if the film ever plays on cable, but no dice. This makes me pretty sad because Maurice is a good movie overall, one of those classic Merchant-Ivory E.M. Forster adaptions that beautifully captures the period, AND it’s a moving story of how a gay man comes to terms with his sexual orientation and finds love in completely repressed Edwardian England.
The movie won critical acclaim for the directing and performances when it was first released, and the design team of Jenny Beavan and John Bright earned a nomination for Best Costume Oscar. But Maurice itself has been hidden away, much like the novel’s manuscript, which wasn’t published until after Forster died in 1970, and the laws against homosexual acts had changed in Britain.
If you get the chance to see it, I highly recommend watching Maurice. It’s sweet, romantic, touching, dreamy, funny, and sexy. James Wilby navigates the waters as Maurice (pronounced “Morris”) from confusion and frustration to determination and joy. Hugh Grant, as his first lover, shows the tragic side of ignoring your true self. And Rupert Graves is winsome as Maurice’s love that knows no bounds.