Made for only $3 million, this Merchant-Ivory production was nominated for eight Oscars and won three. The droll comedy of manners and morals begins in 1907, when Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) goes off to Italy in the company of Charlotte Bartlett (Maggie Smith), her maiden
cousin and spinster chaperone. They arrive in Florence and take up residence at the Pensione Bertolini, where they meet the charming Mr. Emerson (Denholm Elliott) and his son, George (Julian Sands). It's evident from the start that George finds Lucy pleasing to gaze upon, and on a visit to
Fiesole, the town high above Florence, he takes the opportunity to kiss the young girl. Charlotte witnesses the kiss and insists they leave for England at once. Back in Surrey, where Lucy lives with her mother (Rosemary Leach) and ne'er-do-well brother, Freddy (Rupert Graves), Lucy settles into
her relationship with Cecil (Daniel Day Lewis), the twit to whom she is engaged. But the Emersons move into a vacant villa in the area, and uninhibited passion again enters Lucy's safe world. It's hard to believe A ROOM WITH A VIEW cost so little; the costumes and sets are dazzling and the acting
is superb--from two-time Oscar-winner Smith to the smallest role, there's not a false note.
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