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 A Room with a View 

What grade would you give this film?
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 A Room with a View 
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Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:01 pm
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Post A Room with a View
A Room with a View


A Room with a View is a 1985 British drama film directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant. The film is a close adaptation of E. M. Forster's novel of the same name (but for its unequivocally happy ending), and even uses his chapter titles to divide the film into sections.

The film stars Helena Bonham Carter as a young woman in the restrictive Edwardian culture of turn-of-the century England and her love for a free-spirited young man. Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott, Julian Sands, Simon Callow, Judi Dench, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Rupert Graves round out the principal cast. Elliott and Smith were nominated for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, but lost to Michael Caine and Dianne Wiest from Hannah and Her Sisters.


Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:22 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 4:28 pm
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Despite the popularity that the Merchant/Ivory enjoyed in the 80s, mid-90s I am still quite a novice to their work and A Room with a View is the first major production of theirs that I have seen with the only others in my resumée being the terrible Le Divorce and the very mediocre Golden Bowl. I must admit that

A Room with a View, being one of their most acclaimed productions, left me fairly unimpressed as well which makes me wonder whether their style is just not my thing. Out of all the films I have seen during my recent catch-up period as documented in this thread, this one was the worst. Whcih certainly doesn't make it a bad flick. It has its strengths, particulary in the acting and technical department, but the whole story just didn't strike a chord with me. I would not say that I didn't "get" the point of the whole thing, but the whole thing seemed rather trivial and meaningless to me. It seemed like a small thing blown out into something big. Why couldn't Lucy admit to herself that she was in love with George all the time? It wasn't even like Lucy's mother is against the Emersons (at least didn't seem this way in the movie, I know that it's this way in the book, though).

As I said, the acting is impressive. Helena Bonham Carter is convincing in one of her first main roles, but it's Julian Sands and Maggie Smith who steal the show in this movie, in my opinion. In particulary Sands delivers what I would consider a relatively overlooked performance, seeing how most of the praise focused on Maggie Smith and Denholm Elliott.

On a technical level, the movie's well-executed and Iiked the stylish subdivision into chapters. But all the great acting and stylistic elements don't help if the story doesn't hit all the notes right which is the case in this film. Why it was nominated for Best Picture is rather beyond me.

Interestingly enough, I've got two other of its fellow Best Picture nominees in its year at home on DVD right now: Children of a Lesser God and The Mission. I hope they turn out better.

The greatest thing on earth is to love and to be loved in return!


Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:40 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:02 pm
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Post Re: A Room with a View
I liked it, but not a lot. My main problem was with Julian Sands. I haven't read the novel, but his character was either poorly acted or is simply very strange in the novel. I found him a bit of an annoyance. I understand why Lucy (wonderfully played by Carter) left Cecil, but what did she see in George? He seemed semi-retarded and not the free spirit he was intended to be.

Other than Sands, the other acting was great. Maggie Smith and Denholm Elliot were usually involved in the scenes with Sands, so that leveled his annoyingness.

Italy looked beautiful and so did Surrey.


Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:33 am
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