A Room with a View

1985 Comedy Drama

Adapted by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala from the novel by E.M. Forster, A Room with a View is a shining example of Merchant-Ivory's ability to achieve maximum quality and opulence at minimum cost. Set during the Edwardian Era, the film stars Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy Honeychurch, who like all proper young British ladies is compelled to tour Europe in the company of an older chaperone -- in this instance, her spinster cousin Charlotte Bartlett (Maggie Smith). While in Italy, the ladies make the acquaintance of a wide variety of personalities; the most fascinating of their fellow tourists -- at least in Lucy's eyes -- is free-spirited George Emerson (Julian Sands). Aware that her cousin is becoming too familiar with Emerson, Charlotte demands that Lucy return to England posthaste. Lucy complacently settles for the tiresomely traditional courtship of nerdish Cecil Vyse (Daniel Day-Lewis) -- and then Mr. Emerson moves into the neighborhood. Lucy now finds herself on the horns of a dilemma: Should she opt for a safe, proper marriage to Cecil, or the bohemian unpredictability of the charismatic Emerson? A winner of three Academy Awards, A Room with a View is not what one could call fast-moving, but fans of the Merchant-Ivory team will enjoy luxuriating in the film's leisurely pace and stimulating cast of characters. more..

Director: James Ivory

Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Julian Sands, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott, Daniel Day Lewis


  • A Room with a View enjoys its storytelling so much that I enjoyed the very process of it. The story moved slowly, it seemed, for the same reason you try to make ice cream last: because it's so good.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    29 November 2012

  • A movie with exquisite period detail.

    - Entertainment Weekly

    29 November 2012

  • More than a great love story. It's both a lighthearted and deeply impassioned inspirational lesson about life.

    Gene Siskel - The Chicago Tribune

    29 November 2012

  • As Lucy Honeychurch, Miss Bonham Carter gives a remarkably complex performance of a young woman who is simultaneously reasonable and romantic, generous and selfish, and timid right up to the point where she takes a heedless plunge into the unknown.

    Vincent Canby - The New York Times

    29 November 2012

  • Distinguished by superb ensemble acting, intelligent writing and stunning design.

    - Variety

    29 November 2012


  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration

    Academy Awards (1987)

  • Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases

    American Society of Cinematographers (1987)

  • Best Actress

    BAFTA Awards (1987)

  • Tony Pierce-Roberts

    British Society of Cinematographers (1986)

  • Best Foreign Director (Migliore Regista Straniero)

    David di Donatello Awards (1987)