123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

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domino harvey
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123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#1 Post by domino harvey » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:12 pm

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THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE
(Jack Clayton, 1987)
Release date: 24 June 2019
Limited Blu-ray Edition (World Blu-ray premiere)[/b]

Based on the acclaimed novel by Brian Moore, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne was the final feature film to be made by celebrated filmmaker Jack Clayton (The Innocents, The Pumpkin Eater), and boasts a truly outstanding performance by multi-award-winning actor Maggie Smith.

In 1950s Belfast, penniless spinster Judith Hearne (Smith) falls for charismatic James (Bob Hoskins). Succumbing to his attentions, Judith makes a series of profound changes to her life, including re-evaluating her deep relationship with her church, to enable the love for which she so desperately yearns.

Poignant and powerful, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne was the recipient of a BAFTA award for Smith, but has since become somewhat overlooked. Now finally available on Blu-ray for the very first time, one of the finest British films of the 1980s is presented in a brand new 2K restoration from the original negatives, supervised and approved by cinematographer Peter Hannan.

INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
• New 2K restoration by Powerhouse Films from the original negative, supervised and approved by cinematographer Peter Hannan
• Original stereo audio
• Remembering Judith Hearne (2019): featuring new and exclusive interviews with actors Maggie Smith and Ian McNeice
• Remembering Mary (2019): new and exclusive interview with actor Rudi Davies
• Selected scenes commentary with film historian Neil Sinyard
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive booklet featuring Pauline Kael’s appraisal of the film, an overview of contemporary critical responses, archival articles, and film credits
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies
• All extras subject to change

#PHILTD123
BBFC cert: 15
REGION B
EAN: 5037899071793

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bottled spider
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Re: ??? The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#2 Post by bottled spider » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:23 pm

Here's Pauline Kael's review:
A spinster in spite of her sensual nature, Judy Hearne, who lives in Dublin, is all pretension. Everybody sees through her, and she knows it, but she can't get rid of her own mealymouthed phoniness: it's ingrained in her. Maggie Smith, who plays the part, lets you read every shade of feeling in Judy's face; she makes you feel the ghastliness of knowing you're a figure of fun. Taken from Brian Moore's novel (a work of surpassing empathy written in 1955, when he was only 27), the movie, directed by Jack Clayton, is a phenomenal piece of work. It's about Judy's misunderstanding the attentions of her landlady's brother (Bob Hoskins) and thinking herself to be in the midst of a romance; it's about her isolation, her secret drinking, and her rage against the Church for her wasted life. There has probably never been another movie in which a woman rejected the Church fathers' ready-made answers. Maggie Smith and Wendy Hiller (who plays Judy's tyrannical aunt) are magnificent together, and the cast includes Ian McNeice, who, as the landlady's son, gives the film a baroque touch that helps offset the shallow, virtuous ending, Marie Kean as the landlady, and Rudi Davies as a young slavey. The adaptation is by Peter Nelson. see Hooked.
Enthusiasm shared. But does anyone else think the ending is virtuous and shallow? I took it as sardonic or at least ambiguous in its uplift.

Beautiful colours -- should look great on Blu-ray.

As has been noted elsewhere on the forum, the score by Delerue is lovely. And there's plenty of it, used emotively, yet it doesn't draw my perennial complaints of too much, too loud, and too obvious ("fyi this bit right here is sad"). It's perfect as is, despite going against my usual preferences.

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Re: ??? The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#3 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:35 pm

Georges Delerue had already worked with Jack Clayton twice before (The Pumpkin Eater and Our Mother's House), and he'd go on to score Clayton's next and final film Memento Mori, so it's safe to say that they must have had a good rapport - especially given Clayton's notorious perfectionism and reluctance to suffer fools gladly.

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bottled spider
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Re: ??? The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#4 Post by bottled spider » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:44 am

I'd be curious to know if the general lack of response is because:
a. people don't know the film
b. people know it and don't like it
c. people know it and like it, but the existing DVD is good enough that a Blu-ray release is unexciting?

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Re: ??? The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#5 Post by swo17 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:47 am

d. I don't engage with threads pre-spine confirmation

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tenia
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Re: ??? The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#6 Post by tenia » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:53 am

I have absolutely no knowledge of the movie itself, nor about the upcoming release, and thus can't engage on any of these topics.

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Re: ??? The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#7 Post by MichaelB » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:16 pm

swo17 wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:47 am
d. I don't engage with threads pre-spine confirmation
It's worth noting that the release of this title has been formally confirmed (along with its HandMade/Maggie Smith stablemate The Missionary) thanks to two ads in Sight & Sound, so it's definitely coming, and any engagement with it now won't be a wasted effort.

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swo17
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Re: ??? The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#8 Post by swo17 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:19 pm

Alright then, I choose a.

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Re: ??? The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#9 Post by KJones77 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:04 pm

Yeah, it's A for me.

But I am intrigued by it, as I do like Jack Clayton (aside from The Great Gatsby, I've liked what I've seen from him).

Has anyone actually seen the film?

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Dr Amicus
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Re: ??? The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#10 Post by Dr Amicus » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:25 pm

I have, but not since it first came out. My memory of that one viewing is the acting is first rate, but it's a film to admire more than actually like.

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Re: ??? The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#11 Post by britcom68 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:00 am

I also had seen this several times, most recently during the Filmstruck showing. I thought elements reminded me at times of Mike Leigh's style as much as Bryan Forbes style. In "Judith Hearne," the landlord's corpulent son seems too overtly a broad character though, and provides not nearly as many enjoyable moments as Timothy Sprall in "Life is Sweet." The late Bob Hoskins gives a solid enough performance, but feels as if he could have been walking out of the other Handmade FIlms production, "A Private Function" and, in retrospect, his performance in Frears "Mrs. Henderson Presents" is too similar, outside of an attempt at an American accent. I have always enjoyed Forbes' output and thought his films were overlooked far too long. I admire Jack Clayton too for his adept hand at translating literary works. I have never read the novel "Judith Hearne," but I can imagine it was similarly enjoyable. I thought Smith's portrayal was very good for a character that hovering at poverty while still, at times, clinging vainly to her upbringing, but without the unnecessary fantastical elements of "Madwoman of Chaillot" or the subtly of "Seance on a Wet Afternoon." Forbes' "The Whispers" is far too unbelievable in its total elements to really enjoy even its central character, she is too put upon, too adift and therefore, we are banged on the head to be sympathetic to her every scene. I was always trying to get a copy of "Judith Hearne" to watch back-to-back with "Madame Sousatzka" but they are far more dissimilar than similar. "Hearne" never dwells on the craft of creating music or learning the skills to grow as a musician, whereas Schlesinger's "Souzakta" almost forgets to do anything except that. In Schlessinger's rendering, his treatment of Twiggy feels so tacked on I always fast-forward thru her bits, and yet, even in the hands of Shirley Macclaine I don't think her character is drawn well enough to rise above just eccentricity. Clayton's film has no such standout problems. I read up about "Hearne" and I am not at all shocked that Katherine Hepburn tried to obtain the rights and was considered for it actively at one point (at times I thought her portrayal could have felt almost a reinvention of the family from "Suddenly Last Summer.") I think the one thing about Clayton's "The Innocents" that I have come to dislike is that Kerr's character seems to be swallowed up in almost claustrophobic-induced anxiety so readily, and yet we never get a chance to see if she had ever had similar reactions in her earlier life before arriving at the estate. For me, I can believe Kerr's character is a wide-eyed virgin, but that does not automatically mean she could never have been so un-tethered as she is at Blighey, and it would have been interesting to see if she had been ever similarly swept away in the supporting arms of her upbringing in the country parsonage. Whereas with "Hearne," Clayton is able to let us in on just enough flashbacks to see the full scope of Judith Hearne's character that Smith conveys without longing for more explanations. Her flights of hope are similar to the characters in the Forbes films above, but more believable in her reactions to others and circumstances. Smith's portrayal is nearly an inverse of Kerr in "The Chalk Garden," except "Judith Hearne" is able to believably to grow a hardened shell in a long slow simmer throughout the film, whereas Kerr's character only seems to be a hard with barely a nod to softening at the wrong times and in not fully believable ways.

I was trying to explain this film to a cousin of mine that adores Noel Cowards "Brief Encounter" when we had access to FIlmstruck, and I kept trying to convince her that the tone between the two are similar, but Hearne's romanticism is so limited, almost incidental, and that made Hearne more enjoyable to me.

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Re: 123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#12 Post by GaryC » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:57 pm

I saw this when it came out and remember liking it quite a bit, though it's based on a Brian Moore novel I haven't read.

Interesting to see Rudi Davies among the extras as I'd wondered what happened to her. She was in quite a few things I saw in the later 1980s but her IMDB credits end in 1995, so I presume she left the profession. She's the daughter of Alan Sharp and Beryl Bainbridge.

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Re: 123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#13 Post by bottled spider » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:54 pm

Well I caved and ordered this, and The Pumpkin Eater.

I saw this on DVD a few weeks ago, and was very much taken with it. The movie is hard to categorize. It's a drama, of course. Kael in her review described the novel as "a work of surpassing empathy", and that's equally true of the adaptation. But it wouldn't be entirely wrong to call it a black comedy, a nasty one in places. Pinter had no hand in this, but there's a touch of menace and absurdity to some of the characters that's reminiscent of Pinter. In its gentler moments, it's a little bit like an Alan Bennett play. (So imagine Harold Pinter and Alan Bennett had a baby, and the baby had foetal alcohol... ha, no... this is what comes of spending too much time on Letterboxd).

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Re: 123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#14 Post by MichaelB » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:00 pm

Maggie Smith is of course one of the great Alan Bennett interpreters, which might well create that impression too. It’s an extraordinary performance - each syllable that she utters is meticulously modulated to try to hide the emotional pain and loneliness behind it, but without always succeeding.

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Re: 123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#15 Post by swo17 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:50 am

I'm only just realizing how slim Clayton's filmography was (between BFI and Indicator, half his output is now available on Blu-ray!)

I would love to see a release of Our Mother's House from someone, but I gather that's with Warner? (They put out a DVD-R in the US anyway.)

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Re: 123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#16 Post by Apperson » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:43 pm


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Re: 123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#17 Post by Aunt Peg » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:26 am

I can't wait to get this film in an Blu Ray edition that it fully deserves. I purchased a DVD years ago and the quality was terrible and upgraded to what I thought may have been better quality DVD from another country - but nope, it too looked like the same horrible VHS master.

When I culled my collection a couple of years ago I got rid of the DVD because I'd never watched it and thought I'd wait for a better edition. Finally, it is here I'll I'll be able to revisit this magnificent film after more than 30 years.

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Re: 123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#18 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:20 am

HandMade Films had notoriously terrible video masters of their films for a very long time indeed - even Criterion put out a well below par Withnail & I and How to Get Ahead in Advertising - and it hasn’t been until the 2010s that people started going back to 35mm basics, although unsurprisingly starting with the more obvious candidates (those two, Time Bandits, The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa, all from Arrow). As so often in her life, poor Judith Hearne was never going to be at the front of that queue, but I’m delighted that she’s finally caught up, and am very pleased indeed with how the disc turned out.

(The 1.75:1 aspect ratio might be a bit eyebrow-raising for a 1987 film, but it’s at cinematographer Peter Hannan’s personal request - he supervised the framing and grading of Indicator’s restoration.)


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Re: 123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#20 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:04 pm

All too intrigued by the prospect of a Jack Clayton period drama made in the '80s and my love of Maggie Smith, I made the mistake of watching it the first thing this morning. I was not ready for that emotional epic! Smith's performance certainly moved and broke and encouraged my heart with its empathy. A feeling I've experienced most often with Terence Davies movies. Similar to The Innocents what I found most riveting was how the protagonist's interiority is expressed through her acting and Clayton's directing of it. Bob Hoskins as an attempted companion then foil to Smith's struggle deepened the experience to such a degree now I can't imagine anyone than Hoskins being cast! I do hope this release - I watched it via Criterion Channel tho - returns the film to high esteem and new recognition because as a lover of films this caliber and subject manner I was so very impressed.

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Re: 123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#21 Post by Aunt Peg » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:43 am

Just finished watching the film for the first time in 30 years and its held up beautifully. Indicator have done a first rate job with this.

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Re: 123 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

#22 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:25 am

bottled spider wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:54 pm
Well I caved and ordered this, and The Pumpkin Eater.

I saw this on DVD a few weeks ago, and was very much taken with it. The movie is hard to categorize. It's a drama, of course. Kael in her review described the novel as "a work of surpassing empathy", and that's equally true of the adaptation. But it wouldn't be entirely wrong to call it a black comedy, a nasty one in places. Pinter had no hand in this, but there's a touch of menace and absurdity to some of the characters that's reminiscent of Pinter. In its gentler moments, it's a little bit like an Alan Bennett play. (So imagine Harold Pinter and Alan Bennett had a baby, and the baby had foetal alcohol... ha, no... this is what comes of spending too much time on Letterboxd).
Having seen this for the first time I would add perhaps a splash of Joe Orton tabasco to your ingredients. I was knocked for six with this and for people with only knowledge of Smith as a crotchety dowager it is a total revelation. Beautifully constructed and paced as you would expect from Clayton and big slaps on the back for Indicator for a superb edition.

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