Five forbidden love stories
Inspired by the heartrending forbidden love story at the heart of J.R. Ward’s The Chosen, we’ve chosen (ho ho) five of our film favourites . . .
Shakespeare in Love: Will Shakespeare is suffering from a bad case of writer’s block, and it seems like inspiration will never come – that is, until he meets Viola. Arresting, brilliant and one of his greatest admirers, their love quickly blossoms but is challenged by mistaken identity, backstage drama and the dastardly Lord Wessex . . . A funny, fresh and contemporary take on Shakespeare and his writing, we’ve seen this film countless times and still love it.
Moonlight: arguably the best film of 2016, Moonlight sheds new light on the forbidden love trope as we follow a young boy, Chiron, coming to terms with his sexuality and racial identity against a backdrop of poverty and violence in contemporary Miami. When he forges a friendship with the charismatic Kevin, Chiron begins to realise just who he is – even if circumstances conspire against their burgeoning relationship. Quietly profound and gorgeously realised, this is a film for the ages.
The English Patient: When amnesiac WW2 pilot Lazlo de Almásy is pulled from a plane wreckage in North Africa, he finds himself under the care of the beautiful but troubled nurse Hana, who helps him to remember his love affair with the married Katharine Clifton before the war. One of the most sumptuous romantic epics of recent times, and as heartbreaking today as it was on initial release.
All That Heaven Allows: a 50s melodrama that has inspired many other tales of forbidden love (including Fear Eats the Soul and Far From Heaven), the film focuses on the plight of a middle-class widow Cary Scott who falls in love with her much younger gardener (played by Rock Hudson), to the consternation of her snobbish friends and family. Tissues at the ready . . .
Harold and Maude: forbidden love is all about breaking down taboos, and this offbeat cult comedy does so with aplomb. When death-obsessed 20-something Harold meets the free-spirited septuagenarian Maude, an unexpected romance blossoms – and though society seems unwilling to accept them, this eccentric couple couldn’t care less.