Troy Patterson
October 27, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Merchant Ivory Collection

Current Status
In Season
296 minutes
James Ivory
Home Vision Cinema
Historical, Drama

We gave it a B+

The Merchant Ivory Collection is the first fraction of a series releasing, remastered and letterboxed, the movies of producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, a team famous for A Room With a View and The Remains of the Day — films that nominating members of the Academy took to like eager pigs digging for truffles. The three films here are somewhat more raw — and that’s including The Europeans, an atypically vital adaptation of Henry James’ novel about a fortune-hunting baroness (Lee Remick). Bombay Talkie is atypical altogether, a bright, sprightly musical about a lady writer (Jennifer Kendal) adrift in India’s Bollywood studios and spiritual retreats. Quartet, a sort of character-study cousin of Henry and June, is about a convict’s wife caught up in a menage à trois in Lost Generation Paris; it would probably be the best of the set even if it didn’t star Isabelle Adjani, whose beauty leaves you shivering. B+

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