Director: James Ivory
Producer: Ismail Merchant
Screenplay by: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Based on: A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
- Maggie Smith
- Denholm Elliot
- Judi Dench
- Simon Callow
- Helena Bonham Carter
- Julian Sands
- Daniel Day-Lewis
- Fabia Drake
- Patrick Godfrey
- Rupert Graves
- Joan Henley
- Rosemary Leech
- Richard Robbins (original score)
- Kiri Te Kanawa (singing Giacomo Puccini)
Edit by: Humphrey Dixon
- Merchant Ivory Productions
- Goldcrest Films
- Film Four International
Distributed by: Curzon Film Distributors
Release date: 13 December 1985
Running time: 117 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
IMDb rating: 7.3 / 10
My rating: 10 / 10
Lucy Honeychurch and her much older cousin and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett stay at the Pensione Bertolini while on holiday in Florence. Having been promised rooms with a view of the Arno they are disapponted when the ones given to them do not have a view.
At dinner Mr Emerson and his son George learn of the women’s view predicament and offer to exchange rooms although Charlotte at first considers the suggestion indelicate.
On the following days Lucy and George become more intimate with each other. George kisses her during a day trip to Fiesole and Charlotte, who witnesses it, cuts their trip short by arranging for their return back to England the following day.
In England Lucy becomes engaged to upper-class Cecil Vyse, but soon the Emersons enter her peaceful life for yet another time…
Lucy is an upper-middle class lady leading a comfortable and secure life with her widow mother and younger brother Freddy. Brought up with strict Victorian values she lacks passion in her life, except from when she plays the piano. The trip to Florence changes her as she experiences romantic love for the first time and gradually questions the values she was raised with.
George is seen as quite the unconventional man. Raised in a more relaxed and free-spirited environment he expresses his true feelings without regard to the social norms and expectations of Edwardian society. Deeply philosophical in nature he seems muddled by the matters of the universe and the everlasting ”why”. His meeting with Lucy is crucial as it turns his rather pessimistic view of the world into a more optimistic one.
The clash of the Victorian era values with the much more independant Edwardian ones plays a significant role both in the life and decisions of Lucy as well as that of her conservative fiance and social group.
Existential matters are also emphasized by George’s view of the world and human relations.
Life in the countryside is idealized with the breathtaking scenery and the simplistic beauty of the activities involved.
A Room with a View is one of those romance movies that have a nostalgic feel to them. I remember watching it with my father and longing for that quiet and peaceful country life that the Honeychurch family enjoyed.
Even though the film is centered on Lucy and George’s love the other characters are so charming and lead such interesting lives that it is entirely impossible to ignore them.