An unfailing crowd-pleaser that endures across the decades since its original release in the ‘80s is the sumptuous and quixotic A Room with a View – the first of James Ivory’s extraordinary adaptations of E. M. Forster novels.
A cherubic 19-year-old Helena Bonham Carter plays Lucy Honeychurch – a young and independent-minded, upperclass Edwardian woman who is trying to sort out her burgeoning romantic feelings. She finds her fancies divided between an enigmatic free-spirited George Emerson (Julian Sands) whom she meets on vacation in Florence, and the priggish bookworm Cecil Vyse (Daniel Day-Lewis) to whom she becomes engaged back in the more corseted surrounds of Surrey in England.
Funny, sexy and sophisticated, A Room with a View was a gargantuan arthouse hit, showcasing a sublime supporting cast – Simon Callow, Judi Dench, Denholm Elliott and Maggie Smith included – at their very best. It remains a touchstone of intelligent romantic cinema and a comfort film for those seeking to have their hearts warmed.