A superb English cast in the acclaimed comedy of manners from Merchant/Ivory based on E.M. Forster's novel of wit and romance. Off to the sensuous landscape of Florence for her horizon-broadening tour, Lucy, a perfectly pr... more »oper young Edwardian lady, is chaperoned by her even more proper Aunt Charlotte. At the merest hint of scandal--Lucy is kissed by an improper suitor--Charlotte whisks her back to the serene English countryside, where she is betrothed to a supposedly suitable gentleman, insufferably in love with himself. With its "superb ensemble acting, intelligent writing and stunning design" (The New York Times), this delightful comedy of manners sparkles with keen observations of class behavior and genuine humor.« less
"...if you have the least interest in this film-BUY the new DVD. It's simply amazing. I've scanned these reviews here, and apparently there was an earlier DVD issue that wasn't up to par at ALL-but rest assured, this reasonably-priced "Special Edition" looks and sounds crisp, clean-and stunningly beautiful. Obviously I loved the film when it was originally released, and plenty of others did as well-see reviews below. But watching this new DVD the other night, I was struck at how amazing this movie really is: in the first place, it's rare(to put it mildly!)for a film nearly 20 years old to not look "dated" at ALL-this one doesn't. It could have been shot yesterday. I'd be willing to bet that in 15 years "Shakespeare in Love" *will* look somehow "late '90s"-it's the norm for period costume pieces to wind up reflecting the styles of the times they were made, even if we can't see it without the distance of years passing. What an achievement, then for James Ivory, Ismail Merchant, and the designers/cinematographer/costumer...and the actors-! Superb, all of them. The second audio track is, I'm afraid, a little superfluous(although it was enjoyable to hear the producers chatting away with Simon Callow-"the Rev. Beebe"-and the only actor to record commentary, alas)...but it doesn't matter a whit. Truly one of those things where everything came together perfectly. If you buy this, you'll have a great shot at converting a few jaded kids(assuming you've got some around the house)to the glories of another time and place, and *real* romance(and just about the sexiest kisses you could ask for). Enjoy!"
"Oh, poor Charlotte!"
Lisa Elliott | 09/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I dare anyone to say anything negative about this movie. I cannot think of one element of this movie that disappointed me. I love the romance between Miss Lucy Honeychurch and Mr George Emerson. I adore the frustrating, "poor Charlotte Bartlett", Lucy's travel companion and thorn-in-her-side in matters of the heart. I love Cecil, wonderfully pompous Cecil. I want to be like Eleanor Lavish, the adventure-seeking, scandal-relishing novelist Charlotte and Lucy meet in Florence. Freddy and Mr Beebe provide delightful comic relief, as do the lovely Miss Allens. And who could not love George's doddering old Dad, Mr Emerson, especially when he upsets a tour group with his travelogue asides? If anyone is worried that their favourite book will suffer at the hands of uncaring, ignorant film makers, please, unfurrow your brow and see this movie. E.M. Forster's characters are brought to life by some of Britain's finest actors. The film is wonderfully scripted, beautifully filmed and majestically located. (There are only a handful of films that can claim to have created travel pangs in my Aussie-bound Dad.) It is a film I enjoy coming back to over and over again."
My favorite movie of all time!
Shaz | Naples, FL USA | 10/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ah, how I long for the simpler times, when your biggest problem in life was not getting the room with the view you requested, and you just HAD to fall in love with an impetuous, romantic Adonis in lovely Florence, Itlay! Helena Bonham-Carter has the most fabulous hair on the planet- just had to say that. She plays Lucy Honeychurch, a young girl on holiday in Florence with her older cousin Charlotte (Maggie Smith), who is deemed her chaperone (remember those?). When Charlotte meets George Emerson (Julian Sands), her entire being is transformed, and she ends up finding him in "a field kissed with poppies" where he promptly and without warning gives her a full throttle kiss (and you can tell, this guy KNOWS how to kiss!). Charlotte happens to catch them, and promptly drags Lucy away. But as Lucy heads home for England and the security of "Windy Corner" (the family's estate), she cannot forgot George Emerson. To remove him from her mind, she agrees to marry Cecil (a VERY scrawny, pre-"Last of the Mohicans" Daniel Day-Lewis), a stuffy, over-the-top aristocrat who cares mainly for paintings, poetry, and how things look, rather than how they actually are. Lucy's perfectly crafted world comes to a screaming halt when inadvertently, Cecil finds a new tennant for the cottage down the street- you guessed it, George Emerson and his father move in. Where as George is relieved he's found Lucy, she is upset and scared, mainly because she knows how much this incredible man rocks her world and how his presence threatens her resolve and control. She denies within herself that she loves him, but as we know, love prevails over everything. A must have for your video library. Julian Sands is entirely lovely!"
Wonderful movie--flawed DVD!
Lisa Elliott | 09/26/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Tragically, those reviewers who criticize the quality of the DVD transfer are correct. Not only is the sound a problem, there are odd deletions in the film (and I don't believe they reflect any late decisions on the part of the filmmakers). The early scene where Charlotte (Maggie Smith) tells Lucy (Helena Bonham Carter)after her kiss with George that "we'll both be as silent as the grave" is oddly truncated. Compare it with the VHS and you'll see. This absolutely wonderful film deserves a first-class DVD edition. Of course, it's still worth watching, but it's the one time I'd say opt for the VHS."
Possibly the Most Romantic Movie of All Time
Shaz | 03/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Room with a View," based on E.M. Foresters classic novel, is possibly the most romantic movie of all time. A fantastic introduction to the lavish world of Merchant and Ivory's whimsical interpretation of Victorian England, "Room with a View" is engaging, humorous and heart-stoppingly beautiful. Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter), a proper and petulant Victorian lady, is sent to Italy with her prim, spinster cousin, Charlotte (Maggie Smith). There the women meet a host of Victorian-age oddballs including a pair of spinster sisters, "The Miss Alans," a slightly racy reverend (played perfectly by Simon Callow) and a decidedly odd father and son. Young, uninhibited George (Julian Sands) is instantly drawn to Lucy, and encourages her to break free from the social mandates which imprison her and all Victorian woman with a swift, sensual kiss in an Italian field. Lucy is thrilled but cousin Charlotte stops the budding romance before it even begins.Back in England, Lucy pushes George out of her mind and becomes engaged to a most proper Victorian gentleman, Cecil (played by a virtually unrecognizable Daniel Day Lewis). But, when George and his father move into a nearby house, humorously and inadvertently arranged by the pompous Cecil, Lucy must choose between what's right, and what feels right.Thanks to a superb script, adapted by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, "Room with a View" is marvelously witty and not overly verbose. Like all of Forester's novels, "A Room with a View" is a comedy of manners and subtle condemnation of the hypocrisy of Victorian society - scandalous in Forester's time but too often dull when retold a century later. Prawer Jhabvala's script makes sure the viewer is never left yawning or glancing at his/her watch. The on-location views of the English and Italian countryside are breath-taking and the acting top-notch.The superb cast - I can't believe Sands didn't became a Hugh Grant-like star thanks to this role - also includes Judi Dench as lusty and ludicrous novelist "Eleanor Lavish," Rupert Graves as Lucy's brother "Freddy" and the late great Denholm Elliott as "Mr. Emerson."Though there's no sex in this film the last scene is quite likely the most erotic recorded on film. As you can probably tell from my rambling review, this is my favorite movie and anyone who enjoys a good romance, even if you're not usually a Victorian-era fan, will enjoy this film. Even my husband admitted it was "pretty good." So, light some candles, sit back with a glass of wine and snuggle up with a "Room with a View.""