The first time I watched A Room With a View was in high school. I had this little Swiss Mennonite woman who was my German teacher. She also lead my “SALT” (Sharing and Learning Together) group. One day she brought A Room With a View for us to watch. I was curious. This movie leaves things unsaid, and makes you have to work for it. I didn’t really like it as a 14 year old. I only got a really huge kick out of seeing my teacher try to cover the screen with her little hands during the bathing scene. Her tittering laugh and her excuses that it was so European and just good fun will be with me every time I watch this movie.
Somewhere mid-college I read the book, and wanted to rewatch it. I was just amazed at how beautifully the world was recreated. Merchant and Ivory had since done the two more in the loose series, Howard’s End (Also a E.M. Forrester Novel) and The Remains of the Day (based on the Kazuo Ishiguro novel). I had seen both movies and was impressed, so I came back to see A Room With a View for the 2nd time. I loved it. I think I rented it from the Video store about 3 times a year.
Still, to this day, I love this movie. I love Helene Bonham Carter’s Lucy was just that lovely combination of naiveté and spoiled rich girl. I love it when Mr. Beebe, quite possibly my favorite character, speculates that when she lives as passionately as she plays the piano, she will really be something to behold. She really does become in this movie, despite herself.
Daniel Day Lewis’s Cecil is delightfully snobbish. So repressed, and yet quite the catalyst in Lucy’s becoming. I love Rupert Graves as Freddy. It’s hard to believe it is the same actor who plays Inspector Lestrade in the brilliant 2011 Sherlock reboot.
Far and away the best actor in the movie is Maggie Smith. I love her turn as Poor Cousin Charlotte, whose bumbling chaperonage turned into a lasting friendship. I loved her foray though inner city Florence with Dame Judy Dench’s portrayal of hack authoress Elinor Lavish.
Such a good movie. I revisit it on a regular basis. It is so delicious.
That bathing scene doesn’t hurt either 🙂