Thursday, 27 May 2010

Random Thoughts on A Room With A View

When A Room With A View closes and we segue into the ending – unlike anything Forster had written – I’ll admit, I get a little happy. I’m always wont to call myself a cynic, I usually am, but I can’t deny that Lucy Honeychurch’s happiness makes me just (vicariously, of course) as pleased. It’s one of the reasons I don’t read A Room With A View in its entirety, even though I’m sensitive to the fact that a happy ending makes us lose Forster’s point – but so be it. It’s a little similar to my response to Atonement’s end, so I guess I’m really an idealist at heart.
I wonder if there’s some point that on all three of Merchant Ivory’s Oscar bids they lost to films that were more (broadly at least) male centred. Truth is, I’d have given The Age of Innocence the win in the last bid, but Scorsese’s tempered piece wasn’t even in the running. It’s not that Merchant Ivory is women based, regardless of how much I adore film books will always be my first love and it’s in this same way that Merchant Ivory is not for everyone. Of course, neither Platoon, Schindler’s List or Unforgiven are films for everyone but easily – the audience base is wider. A Room With A View, like so many of Forster’s works, examines the issue of class divisions in England but unlike a certain other class division piece A Room With A View is definitely milder – not for the worst, though. The film concerns…
A Room With A View stars Maggie Smith in a register she’s particularly used to playing, and yet her Charlotte is not a lazy characterisation...and Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy Honeychurch is lovely...it's her second film so she's not as developed as she was in the nineties but as Jose says...Her Lucy's combination of sexual awakening and innocence is delightful and sweeping. You can't put it any better than that. She's so lovely and she's only a part of the excellent cast. Denholm Elliot and Julian Sands are good as is Daniel Day Lewis and Judi Dench is small but fulfilling roles - before they became legends of the trade. I don't know why A Room With A View isn't remembered just a little more, it's such an excellent piece and it's so much fun....but not in the way you'd expect.What do you think of it?

5 comments:

Walter L. Hollmann said...

I once planned my entire day around watching it at 3:00am on Encore. I love this movie, and sometimes I feel like Smith and Wiest should have tied.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I KNOW, right? I mean, I love Wiest but I love Smith too. 85 was a good year for acting.

TomS said...

This is a masterpiece. Beautiful in every way.

It is not well-remembered because movies in general today have been juvenilized, and the criteria held dear by the target demographic has nothing to do with subtlety, beauty, or emotional resonance.

I fear that a whole lifetime worth of beautiful, provocative and artistic films will be forgotten in this way, unless folks like you, me, Walter, and others, champion their merits and keep them alive. We must be the curators of an art that no longer has a place to be properly exhibited.

Jose said...

Ugh everything about this one is so divine! The way the light showers the characters in the Florence scenes is just so indescribably beautiful.
But yeah Andrew this one puts me in a great mood too and I usually have more tragic cravings.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

tom wow, love that comment.

jose i guess sometimes diverting from the book ending is fine.