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The Remains of the Day (1993)

A rule bound head butler’s world of manners and decorum in the household he maintains is tested by the arrival of a housekeeper who falls in love with him in post-WWII Britain. The possibility of romance and his master’s cultivation of ties with the Nazi cause challenge his carefully maintained veneer of servitude.

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    Tom Manion

    The symbolism in this scene, as well as in other parts of the movie, is remarkable. This story of profound personal and historical change centered around a unique relationship between Mister Stephens and Miss Kenton when they worked together is something – even the rain and night scenery here is symbolic of what little “remains of the day”. – the last time they get to see each other and even the weather won’t allow the departure to be easy – the changes that moved them apart won’t let them have clear thoughts or a final say in peace – they’re also not ready to say goodbye yet – the sense of what they had, and lost, is strong – the rain and night scenery reflect that – Miss Kenton and Mister Stephens are not happy as they used to be – they would’ve adjusted to better times and rekindled that happiness if Miss Kenton could’ve gone back to work with Stephens at former Darlington Hall – they’re not getting the chance to correct any past mistakes or have the time to say what they really want – changes over the decades have also made them different – still, they must deal with the consequences from actions based on fear and desperation made years ago. Also, the fact they’re never returning to better times from the past now makes it so that they don’t really connect like they should now. Now, Miss Kenton will return to the aftermath of a failed marriage, and Stephens will go back to a once great manor that is now suffering from scandal. Also, a new American master, who in no way reflects England’s traditional aristocracy as did Lord Darlington, once distinguished himself by rudely belittling Lord Darlington and his guests there years before. The scenery really evokes a sense of profound departure – showing that a once beautiful relationship and fascinating era is now completely over.

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