Watching: Howards End

There is no film in all the world I love so well as Howards End, now playing in all its sumptuous, tragic, widescreen glory at cinemas across the land (well, two at least. And perhaps near you!). Director James Ivory was interviewed after the matinee at the Paris Theatre, and if nothing of particular import was stated (beyond the fact that Vanessa Redgrave arrived on the set not knowing which Mrs. Wilcox was hers), it couldn't have mattered less: he was there and I was there, and in the dark I recited my silent communion. I love Howards End for how it looks and how it plays and what it says about real people, how we stretch and stretch for each other and how often we fail to touch, how hard it is to try at all—and how vital.