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Helena Bonham Carter and Daniel Day-Lewis star in this adaptation of the E.M. Forster novel about a headstrong young Englishwoman who discovers love and liberation while on an Italian vacation.
One of Merchant Ivory's most acclaimed films and the company's first of three adaptations of novels by E.M. Forster, A Room With a View was nominated for eight Academy Awards® and won three, including one for Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's screenplay adaptation. Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter), a young, strong-willed Englishwoman, accompanies her aunt Charlotte (Maggie Smith) on an Italian holiday. During their stay in Florence, Lucy is overwhelmed by the beauty and violence she witnesses around her, and by her interactions with the other tourists at their pensione — particularly the handsome, free-thinking George Emerson (Julian Sands), with whom she shares a passionate and unsettling moment in the Tuscan countryside that stays with her even as she returns to England and her dully respectable fiancé Cecil (Daniel Day-Lewis). Featuring star-making turns by Bonham Carter and Day-Lewis (who had another critical and commercial hit the same year in My Beautiful Laundrette), A Room With a View is "blithely, elegantly funny . . . Ivory and Jhabvala have somehow found a voice for the film not unlike that of Forster, who tells the story of A Room With a View with as much genuine concern as astonished amusement. That's quite an achievement" (Vincent Canby, The New York Times).