3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
One of my favorite films!,
This review is from: A Room with a View (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)I saw this film when it first came out, in the theater, and it has remained one of my favorite films. It was the first film I bought when I got a VCR. This is one of those elegant Merchant-Ivory productions (which also include Maurice and A Passage to India, other E.M. Forster adaptations to film) that sets the late Victorian/early twentieth century world in upper- to upper-middle class England in such gracious light.
The stars of this film include Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy, the heroine, and Julian Sands as George Emerson, her free-spirited suitor, who shocks everyone by doing such risque things as running around without a jacket, or kissing someone (willing) in a field of poppies. The official suitor of Lucy is the stuffed-shirt Cecil Vyse, whose personality seems like it is jammed in a vise. There are great performances by Judi Dench (as a conventional free-spirit, one who likes to be freespirited but not at the expense of reputation), Rupert Graves, Simon Callow, Denhom Elliot, and an outstanding performance (as always, she just has to walk on the set and the film gets an extra star) by Maggie Smith, as the gossipy and fretting aunt and chaperone to Lucy, who eventually comes round to recognizing and rejoicing in the true love of Lucy and George.
The sets are beautiful, the costumes all very much a part of the period, as are the small touches that make up the style of English society that Forster was trying to expose and celebrate in different ways both at the same time. The music is enchanting, with the glorious opera piece "O Mio Bambino Caro" sung by Kiri te Kanawa.