Maurice ★★★★

The loneliness of being different. To the characters in Maurice, homosexuality locks them in, unable to share their feelings with anyone. It also locks them out of their Edwardian society, as people avoid any association with them. That's why the open passion and fearless depiction of love makes this a powerful film. This isn't a film of hiding love, but one of embracing love, risking everything for love. It's not all happy, and there's moments of despair when Maurice's first relationship ends and he hurts people by selfishly protecting his love. But, in the end, Maurice finds comfort in a new lover. One man replaces another man, a lover for a lover, a captain for a captain. Characters in Maurice treat homosexuality as an illness. The opening act takes place in the University of Cambridge, showcasing it as a towering tribute to the archaic, a place of such invention but also such backwardness. Other elements remain in the periphery of the story, like talks on blackmail, or the depiction of how class divides people and the rich can't see it. But, beyond all that, Maurice is just a grand classical story about the arrogance of love. It's clearly constructed but also wonderfully felt. As it ends, on a shot of things unsaid, love stuck in the past, it really finalises itself as a joyous portrayal of love against all odds.