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21 November 2005

A Room with a View (1985)

Helena Bonham Carter (Lucy), Maggie Smith (Charlotte), Julian Sands (George) and Daniel Day- Lewis (Cecil)

Directed by James Ivory (Howard's End)

From Hollywood Video: "In turn-of- the-century Italy, a wealthy Eng- lishwoman falls in love with the socially unfit son of a self-made businessman."

While this was a fun enough movie, I do not understand the acclaim it received upon its release, including eight Oscar nominations. The dialogue was funny, which perhaps explains why it won Best Adapted Screenplay (from E. M. Forster's book), but the overall pacing was quite slow until the last twenty minutes approaching the finale. The nude bathing scene between George, Lucy's brother, and the local clergyman (played by Simon Callow) was entertaining but a little confusing when taken out of the context of its setting. Was this a common group activity among Edwardian men?? Not that it bothered me, mind you.

The passion between George and Lucy when they met in Italy was so understated as to make me wonder what all their fuss was about. I can understand boiling sub-tensions, but I did not see or feel any such thing. Only George's impassioned pleas to Lucy during the "Lying to George" scene touched a nerve of raw sentiment. The finale lacked a certain weight, as well, but I tend to compare all period romances to Sense and Sensibility, which is flawless is almost every way. This one just could not complete with its successor for my affections.

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