Movies, TV, and Pop Culture
E M Forster was gay and so are Cecil Vyse and Reverend Beebe. Lucy Honeychurch was to be a safe pick of a wife for Cecil, for appearances sake, one to tend to home and hearth, one that would make heterosexual men envious and perhaps improve social standing and business opportunities, one that would deliver two children--also for appearances sake and to provide heirs. I'm just a movie watcher, but I'm pretty sure that is the case.
Keep in mind that not only was it a crime to engage in homosexual acts in Edwardian England, it was illegal to call yourself a homosexual or identify characters in a book (novel) as being such. Hints were dropped that readers would surely pick up on. Cecil's lack of interest in women wasn't the result of manners, breeding, or education. He simply had no sexual interest in them. Sure he wanted to get married and please Mummy and Daddy and stop questions . Moreover, he would have never confided his secret to Lucy or embarrassed her by being indiscreet. Look at how he reacted to the story of George and Lucy's kiss--with amusement, making light of George doing what he never felt compelled to do. No punches to the nose or stern talk from that man.
That actually makes sense. It ought to have occurred to me when I learned Forster was gay (some time after seeing the movie). As for Reverend Beebe, I was a bit suspicious there. With Cecil, he seems more asexual than anything, though I could see it going either way. I must go and rethink my half-finished review...
Oh, what fun to hear you guys arguing over one of my movie recommendations! So glad to hear y'all liked it, including matriarch and patriarch (hi matriarch, nice to meet you!) I think I agree with you Hannah, though perhaps it's only to be expected that the patriarch would argue the husband's side. The whole point is that both of them have weaknesses that crisis forces them to grow out of. In that culture, scandal was unquestionably considered worse than death. He knew exactly what she was going to choose, hence the reason he had the servant already packing her things when she came back.You didn't discuss the original novel, which laid the groundwork for much of the characterization (including that district whatever guy, a great character and great performance by Toby Jones), but ended way more bitterly. Somerset Maugham almost seemed to believe redemption was impossible. That's what Norton and the director decided to challenge with their adaptation, and I think I prefer their take on the story.It's funny you should mention Room With a View, because even though it's not my favorite Day-Lewis performance, I like it because it shows his amazing breadth of versatility. My mom was floored when she realized that dweeby guy in Room With a View was played by the same actor who did Hawkeye in Last of the Mohicans. Speaking of, that movie would definitely go on my top five. Here's an interesting question: I'm tempted to put Casablanca on the list, but is it wrong to name it as a favorite romance when the central romantic chemistry is taking place between two unmarried people, while one of them is married? Food for thought.Meanwhile, I'm working on a longer piece about Painted Veil, but you can watch this music video I made a while back when I first saw it. I used a simple song by Ken Medema--one of those 70s artists, kind of like Keith Green but actually better IMHO. It's called "Maybe If I Try," and I thought of the lyric when I saw this movie. The simplicity of the lyric left me free to really dig deep with the imagery of the film. Enjoy!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tydq0QTKT1k
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