A Room with a View

Review: Set during the Edwardian era of England. Lucy Honeychurch and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence, Italy with rooms without views. They are joined by other guests Mr. Emerson and his son George. This could change Lucy’s life forever, now back in England, how will her experience of Tuscany affect her marriage plans?
Director: James Ivory
Actors: Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliot, Julian Sands, Simon Callow, Judi Dench and Daniel Day-Lewis
Year: 1985
Genre: Art House, Classics, Comedy, Drama, International and Romance
Conclusion: 4/5
A lovely film set in Florence. Based on a classic novel by EM Forster. A great mix of British actors, one of Judi Dench’s first films. She only had a little role in this as she didn’t start to get major roles until the 1990’s. This is the first cinema role for Helena Bonham Carter. Excellent performances from the entire cast who all excelled themselves. In my opinion, this is one of the best English films ever made, although I have to say that Remains of the Day is perhaps an even better film. Both of the films directed by James Ivory. The cinematography of both Florence and of the English countryside are breathtakingly beautiful. The script is well written and very witty at times. The costumes are amazing and they must have put so much effort into the entire production. Just some of the most important themes that occur in this are Love, Society and Class, Identity and Lies and Deceit . At the Academy Awards in 1987 this won 3 Oscars. They were for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and also Best Costume Design. At the Golden Globe Awards in 1987 it won 1 award and that was for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Maggie Smith). The same year at the Bafta Awards it did the best winning 5 Awards. They were for Best Actress (Maggie Smith), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Judi Dench), Best Costume Design, Best Film and for Best Production Design. One film critic quoted about this film “It is an intellectual film, but intellectual about emotions: it encourages us to think about how we feel, instead of simply acting on our feelings”.  James Ivory’s work provided a new lease of life for the British Film Industry, especially with regard to period costume dramas. He set a very high standard which has been hard to live up to. The success of the film owes a lot to the performance by Helena Bonham Carter, even though it was Judi Dench and Maggie Smith who came away with the awards.

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