Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Masterpiece Theatre Room With a View|
Actors: Elizabeth McGovern, Timothy Spall, Sophie Thompson, Elaine Cassidy, Laurence Fox
Director: Nicholas Renton
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
Studio: Wgbh Wholesale Release Date: 04/15/2008 Run time: 86 minutes
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What were they thinking?!
Winter Wren | New York | 04/14/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a fan of this great novel, do not watch this adaptation. The acting was very lack luster and it just didn't capture the feel and the essence of the novel. There was no wit and so many things were either added or changed. There was no need for a sex scene when so much about the novel is about repressed sexuality and freedom to make choices. It did not have to be spelled out for the viewer. The transformation of Lucy Honeychurch was barely touched upon and I think E.M. Forster's underlying messages were completely lost.
I have no idea what they were thinking when they decided to change the ending. I watched it open mouthed in disbelief. It was unnecessary and I think it totally took away the meaning of the novel. The ending is supposed to make you feel optimistic and good, despite the obstacles the lovers face. This ending was depressing and sad. I think the viewers were cheated.
If you want to watch a better adaptation, watch the 1985 version with Helena Bonham Carter, Julian Sands and Maggie Smith. No, it's not a perfect adaptation if you want it to be completely true to the book, but it follows the novel much more closely and the casting is wonderful. Julian Sands, in my opinion, perfectly portrayed George Emerson and Maggie Smith was wonderful as Charlotte Bartlett. Denholm Elliot was incredibly believable in his touching portrayal of the older Mr. Emerson.
I'm only giving this adaptation one star because it was visually pleasant to watch. Otherwise I think one star may have been pushing it.
A horrible mess!
Kurt Ashcraft | Chicago, Il USA | 04/14/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I will state upfront that I'm a huge EM Forster fan and the Merchant/Ivory version of this novel is one of my all-time favorites, so when I first heard that Masterpiece Theatre was going to film their own version, I thought: Blasphemy!!!! lol But I took my chances and just finished watching this version on PBS. Why bother? There may have been a scene or two that you don't see in the Merchant/Ivory version, that is true to the book (the Roman scenes for instance) but this version was what I call a "why bother". Nothing new or interesting was added to this version (except the last 15 minutes, which is horrible!). The acting was average at best, the script almost boring and the ending....don't even get me started! Spolier alert (which never happens in the book, or M/I version): Lucy might possibly fall in love with the Italian carriage guide? Please! I'm a romantic at heart, but come on! Another spoiler alert: and George Emerson dying on the battlefields! What? Yes the screenwriter has said that he came across a postscript that Forster wrote 50 years later, but even Andrew Davies has changed that! Leave the novel alone....it's just as perfect as it is! Needless to say, skip this version and go directly to Merchant/Ivory!"
Could have been so much better...
Meerkat | 06/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I didn't hate this version of Room With a View. Yes, I have seen the Merchant Ivory version. Yes, I have read the book. Although I thought the cast of the Merchant Ivory production was magnificent, I actually like a great deal of the cast in this adaptation as well, so I was prepared to view this with an open mind and not hate it instantly because it wasn't Merchant Ivory. I have seen several of this cast (Cassidy, Cusak, Thompson, Spall) in other productions and thought they were wonderful. The aspects of this production I found most disappointing were the script and direction. I found the dialogue to be lackluster, and the interpretation of some of the characters (primarily Cecil) just plain dull. I have admired some of Davies' adaptations in the past, but his more recent works seem to have an underlying conceit in them that I find distasteful, as though he would deign to "improve" the works of the authors he is adapting. Davies is, indeed a gifted and talented man, but is he really so lofty that he feels capable of enhancing Austen, Forster, and Waugh? He had a wonderful cast of people to work with for this adaptation, but their performances were never going to reach the stellar level they were capable of when the script they were given to work with was second rate. I know there was a time limitation, but the story was just diluted and unnecessary additions were made (the additional meeting with the gig driver, George's death, etc)that seemed to serve no purpose other than to needlessly outrage the audience. I don't understand why Davies feels the need to shock a response out of his audience, rather than impress them with quality. That cheapens the whole production. This production wasn't awful, but if could have been so much better."
Breath of fresh air
sciocca | NYC | 04/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A number of reviewers here tend to, dare I use that pesky word, CLING to the M/I version as if it were some sort of Rosetta Stone. What a relief to finally see a film adaptation of "Room With A View" which is not seen through rose colored glasses and dripping in gossamer. Every M/I film has the same prettified, romanticized, Hollywoodized take on period pieces. The Andrew Davies version is both much closer to the book in spirit than the M/I version and yet shakes it up in a way that beautifully brings all the social, historical and sexual issues into play. The actors look and behave like real people with real dimension instead of character archtypes as in the M/I version. Casting the father and son team of Timothy and Rafe Spall is a stroke of genius. Elaine Cassidy's take on Lucy's inner turmoil and longing is spot on and all the supporting roles are seamless. All this fuss and moaning about the endng is really a tempest in a teacup. The ending is startling, yet innovative, provocative and is based on Forster's own musings. It does exactly what a film adaption should do - adapt! Anyone who is interested in fine filmmaking and this great literary classic should snap up this version."