Excellent movie. I saw it again just the other day because I wanted to see if my reaction would change now that I'm all mature, and because of a request from my good friends at Oh La La (hey, and you don't even need to have the coolest sexiest site on the planet for that, you can request a review too, just e-mail me).
I first saw the movie when I was 17 and did not like it at all. Now, I thought this was a true Merchant Ivory production. Rich in every sense. Excellent acting.
But, I still came out of it with a negative image for the gays overall. I think that negative image blurred my judgment of the movie before. Now, I think it is a little easier to separate the excellence of the movie and the slight negative light for the gays (like I did here).
In the movie, James Wilby plays Maurice Hall. It's the early 1900s England, and we see Maurice's childhood, college years and adult life. Gay movies like that lifespan thing. Very dramatic. He falls for Hugh Grant. Everybody is from reasonably important families and suffers a lot of pressure from society. In the time of the movie, homosexual acts were a crime in England, and the social pressure was far greater than it is today (duh?). One of Hugh's friends goes to jail after being framed with a guy. Heavy stuff. All that is a positive light for sure, serves as criticism.
This is the first touch between the two love birds:
So, continue reading if you don't mind spoilers. I will need to spoil the movie to make my case. I threw in a tiny bit of quasi nudity after the jump to lure you.