A Room with a View (1986)


Starring: Helena Bonham Carter (in her first feature film), Maggie Smith, Julian Sands, Daniel Day-Lewis, Denholm Elliott, Simon Callow, Judi Dench, Rupert Graves (in his first feature film)

Director: James Ivory

Summary: An Englishwoman visiting Florence is torn between her strait-laced fiance and a young bohemian

Other Nominations: Director, Supporting Actor (Elliott), Supporting Actress (Smith), Adapted Screenplay*, Art Direction*, Cinematography, Costume Design

I expected great looking sets, locations and costumes based on the premise and production company alone, and I expected the strong performances from top-to-bottom because, well just look at that cast-six of the seven with the biggest roles have been knighted. One thing I was surprised about was the warmth and sense of humor in the movie. That humor and warmth helped set the story apart from other similar films in spite of it being filled with numerous tropes of the romance genre and it going basically how you would expect from beginning to end. It also does better than most in making the “third guy in the love triangle who the woman is officially attached to but doesn’t love” interesting, not only through Day-Lewis’ excellent performance basically playing a snobby-stuffy guy, but because it doesn’t make him out as a villain and instead as simply the wrong choice for our lead. Not one of my top films in the romance genre I’ve reviewed here, but I can see why it got nominated and it makes the most out of the source material.

Rating: B


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