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A Merchant-Ivory Classic with "A room with a View" based on the novel and other writings by Forster
A Room With A View  (DVD)
Member Name: Jcapulet
A Room With A View  (DVD)
Advantages: Music, cast, acting, views, script.
This is one of my favourite novel adaptations of all time. I fell in love with the book as a teenager, falling in love with Florence along with it and still enjoy the film just as much now as I did when I first watched it. This is the Helena-Bonham Carter version, as there is now an updated version which I didn't enjoy as much.
This is a Merchant-Ivory production so if you're a fan of the likes of The White Countess, Remains of the Day and Howard's End then you'll probably enjoy this production too, told with the same classy production, well cast and a lovely soundtrack to boot !!
As already stated, the film is based the novel "A room with a view" by E. M Forster, who based the final novel on various writings written by Forster ( which were later published under the name "The Lucy Novels" ) and there are some parts of those Lucy Novels that are contained in the film, although not in the finished novel, such as the scene between Lucy HoneyChurch (played by Helena Bonham Carter ) and the guide in the Sante Croce.
The film begins by the arrival of Luch HoneyChurch and Charlotte Bartlett ( played by Maggie Smith ) and are left disappointed when the rooms with views they were promised do not materialise. However, at dinner they meet a father and son ( Mr Emerson played by Denholm Elliot and George Emerson played by Julian Sands ) who are willing to swop their rooms with views for those occupied by Lucy and Charlotte. However, Charlotte is less than impressed with the conduct of the father and son, and feels uncomfortable at feeling in debted to the duo if she were to accept. However, under the guidance of Reverand Beebe ( one of my favourite characters, played by Simon Gallow ) Charlotte backs down and allows the swop to take place.
The 'relationship' between George and Lucy has now begun but it's not until a meeting in the Piazza Signora square, after Lucy faints, that they begin to become closer. Lucy struggles with her feelings ( throughout most of the book infact ! ) but George is pretty upfront and honest with what he perceives is going on between them. Later, a meeting in a field in Fiesole one day, cements their feelings when George kisses Lucy. Charlotte on witnessing the act is horrified and presumes that George will tell everyone about their encounter. As a result, Charlotte and Lucy return to Summerstreet. Other characters that we meet in Italy include the Miss Allens and Miss Lavish ( a novelist, played by Judi Dench. )
This is where we meet Lucy's brother Freddy, her Mother and Lucy's soon-to-be fiance Cecil ( played by Daniel Day Lewis. ) Here we also learn that not only is Rv Beebe to be their new local clergyman but that Sir Harry Otway a local landlord if looking for new tenants for his villa. Lucy recommends the Miss Allens but through a chance meeting with the Emersons, Cecil invites the father and son to view the villa, which they accept. Lucy is horrified as she is now engaged and when she finds out that Miss Lavish writes about her and George's encounter in Italy (after George kisses her again ) she demands that he leaves, never to return. George pleads with her that Cecil is not the man for her and she should know that he is, Lucy continues to shun George but breaks off her engagement with Cecil and plans to travel with the Miss Allens to get away from it all. It isn't until she finds out that the Emersons are leaving Summerstreet that she admits to her feelings and George and Lucy are finally united. The film ends back in Florence, where it seems that Lucy an George are very happy.
In the book, it is hinted that George later dies during World War I but it is not written as fact so we do not know for sure. Therefore, the film ends happier than the book.
It's a wonderfully shot film, well cast and well acted, with beautiful scenery and music !!
Summary: If you love Merchant Ivory films in general, or have a love for Florence you'll enjoy the film !!