The Academy Award-winning director of A Room with a View and The Remains of the Day looks back on an eventful life, from his privileged childhood, through film school, though his storied career in Hollywood.
... a collection of stories from a remarkable life and a glittering career...showcases Mr. Ivory’s caustic wit ... Solid Ivory may not make...naysayers see the light and acknowledge the supreme artistry of Howards End,A Room With a View and The Remains of the Day. However, they, along with the rest of us, may well be charmed and edified by Mr. Ivory’s insightful selection of scenes from memory and his absorbing self-portrait of an artist ... One standout section entitled 'Making Movies' offers a fascinating look at Mr. Ivory’s craft ... The section called 'Portraits'...[is] somewhat disappointing ... And yet despite these shortcomings there is still a lot to admire here ... candid, informative and infused with warmth, verve and humor. Sit back and enjoy a series of well-executed master shots and captivating close-ups.
I wasn’t expecting his memoirs to be quite such a 'Remembrance of Penises Past' ... There is a wistful defiance to his sexual frankness as a Protestant gay man who came of age in an era of intense repression ... He spills it not in the typical big autobiographical splash but in dribs and drabs: letters, diary entries, tumbling sense-memories of fashion, food and furniture (and the other F-word), with scores of appealingly casual photographs sprinkled throughout. An established master of the slow reveal, Ivory serves gossip with a voile overlay ... more of a scrapbook of finely wrought prose sketches than the fully carved self-sculpture suggested by its title, whose touching origin story I won’t spoil ... It’s all very effectively spliced together here, but with occasional lapses in continuity ... This book does tend to skirt over or even coldly aestheticize unpleasant truths ... But I now look at the famous scene in A Room With a View that so embarrassed me as a young teen, naked men splashing full-frontally at a swimming hole, in a new and dappling light.
... in this elegant, finely detailed—but often frustrating—book, he offers a life filled with incident, accomplishment, memorable friends, few regrets—and lots of sex, described with admirable directness ... in this elegant, finely detailed—but often frustrating—book, he offers a life filled with incident, accomplishment, memorable friends, few regrets—and lots of sex, described with admirable directness ... In telling his story, Ivory opts to hop and skip through incidents, locations, and films, creating a loose structure that often challenges coherence. There are some chapters that are head scratchers in their irrelevance. You wonder how much of the book was compiled from journal entries, diaries, and conversations, a speculation given weight by the unusual editorship credited to the estimable novelist Peter Cameron ... But jerry-rigged or not, the book offers an irresistible voice narrating travels to far-flung destinations and encounters with a merry cavalcade of unlikely folk ... Ivory ends the story of his rich, enviable life with an anecdote from his high school years that embraces his love of movies, an obsession with an obscure MGM musical actress, and his own thirst for applause. In doing so he illuminates his book’s title. Suddenly, what seemed to me a perplexing choice—unimaginative and ordinary—now was just right, perfect in fact, and well worth readers taking the journey to find out for themselves.