|Cinecom Pictures | Release Date: April 1, 1986||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Ivory glides his players through magnificent Italian and English landscapes and in drawing rooms that breathe authenticity. Two scenes are unforgettable: when the two lovers witness a violent stabbing scene in the Florence piazza; and when the heroine, her mother and fiance encounter three of the male characters in an innocent nude frolic in a wooded pond. [1 May 1986]
Room With a View, with its genteel cliches and its mouth-puckering social commentary, will absolutely please. It is a gorgeous, glimmering film adaptation of E.M. Forster's sweetest novel, an affectionate study of a party of English gone globetrotting, their Baedekers held close like talismans. [4 Apr 1986, p.29]
Perhaps the primary reason A Room With a View is so involving is that Ivory has cast the film perfectly, and given each of the actors ample room to breathe. Even the characters you're not supposed to like are allowed their moments of vulnerable humanity.
A Room with a View is a masterful example of how to take well-regarded literary source material, render it in a manner that displays the visual markers of middlebrow sophistication, like ornamental costume design and fine-tuned “art direction,” as the Oscars like to call it, and intersperse it with surface-level controversies, like three heterosexual men chasing each other around a pond with their dicks out. Read full review
Ivory's version of A Room With a View is impeccably turned out and wonderfully funny once the rhythms are established, which does not take long. The performances are splendid, from Helena Bonham Carter's moon-faced Lucy to the Cecil of Daniel Day Lewis (who can also be seen in a role so different -- the loutish punk of My Beautiful Laundrette -- that it hardly seems possible he is the same actor). As expected, Maggie Smith (as Charlotte) and Denholm Elliott (George's free-thinking father), nearly steal the film. [4 Apr 1986, p.D1]
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