Director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala have a new movie out, The City of Your Final Destination (10 screens), and, no that's not another sequel in the Final Destination horror series. It's about a young professor who is trying to write a biography of a dead author and must travel to Uruguay to get permission from the dead author's wife, brother and mistress. Like almost all the other Ivory films, it's based on a novel. That's just the first of many reasons I have been fighting against Ivory for years.
Ivory and Jhabvala and producer Ismail Merchant, who died in 2005, first teamed up on The Householder (1963), and their partnership continued until The White Countess (2005); the only difference was that The Householder had been based on Jhabvala's own novel, rather than someone else's. At some point in the 1980s, the trio's films came into fashion, coinciding with the first years of the blockbuster era. The Bostonians (1984) earned a couple of Oscar nominations, and then A Room with a View (1986), Maurice (1987), Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990); Howards End (1992) and The Remains of the Day (1993) all had critics, art house audiences and Oscar voters salivating. Ivory received three Best Director nominations, Merchant landed three Best Picture nominations, and Jhabvala won two Oscars for her screenwriting. There were a few acting nominations and wins, and a whole bunch of nominations for Best Costume Design.