Restoration (1995) - Synopsis

Restoration (1995), from director Michael Hoffman (Soapdish (1991)), charts the moving story of the irrepressible Robert Merivel, who eagerly embraces the high living and low moral standards of the Court of Charles II. When Merivel falls from grace, he must create his own spiritual and social restoration.
Restoration (1995) stars Robert Downey Jnr., (Chaplin (1992), Natural Born Killers (1994)), Sam Neill (Sirens (1994), Piano, The (1993)
), Hugh Grant (Sirens (1994), Four Weddings And A Funeral (1994), Nine Months (1995)), Polly Walker (Enchanted April, Talk of Angels) and Meg Ryan (Sleepless In Seattle (1993), French Kiss (1995)).

Invited to the Court of the charismatic King Charles II (Sam Neill), the high-spirited young Robert Merivel (Robert Downey Jnr.) cheerfully abandons his medical studies to accept the post of Royal Physician. At the King's request, he enters into a marriage of convenience with Celia (Polly Walker), the youngest Royal mistress. In return for a knighthood and a country estate, the King commands Merivel to forgo any conjugal rights to his bride. However, encouraged by the King's portrait painter Finn (Hugh Grant), Merivel is unable to control his lust for Celia. She firmly rebuffs his advances, and the King, in his rage at Merivel's disobedience, strips him of his land and title. He is forced to seek shelter within the confines of an austere Quaker hospice run by John Pearce (David Thewlis), his oldest friend and former medical colleague. Once again, Merivel falls prey to the temptations of the flesh, and seeks solace in the arms of Katharine (Meg Ryan), a patient. Found out and expelled, Merivel takes the now pregnant Katharine back to London. At last he harnesses his resources and in the face of extraordinary adversity, redeems himself as a physician and a man.

Contributed by Lily Tomala