The Netflix package my children gave me for Christmas (Thanks Kids!) allows me to cruise through hundreds of movies and documentaries and choose something to watch when there’s nothing good on cable or the networks. Which happens oftener and oftener.
So, last night I chose Room With a View, an English movie adapted from a 1908 novel by E. M. Forster. Mr. Forster used much irony in his stories about the hypocrisy involved in the class conscious culture of the day.
The movie, made in 1985, stars a young and beautiful Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy Honeychurch and Julian Sands as George Emerson. Daniel Day Lewis gives an excellent performance as the prim and proper Cecil Vyse. They were ably supported by Maggie Smith and Judi Dench in character roles. The rave review on imdb.com says this film captures the spirit of the book. All of us who have been disappointed when a favorite book is made into a lousy movie, can understand the satisfaction when the movie actually does indeed capture the spirit of the book.
Room With a View is a love story about a young girl (Lucy) who must decide between two suitors, exuberant, passionate George or steady, predictable Cecil. Should she go with convention or take a chance on love? The limitations and expectations placed on young ladies during the Edwardian Era play a big part in her decision making.
The background music is spectacular — arias by Puccini and selections by Victor Herbert adding to the drama.
I do have to mention one particular scene that surprised me. The vicar comes upon two young men, waist high in water, bathing. They invite him to join them and he promptly drops trou and steps out from behind the bush completely naked. He jumps in the water and he and the young men engage in splashing and horse play, chasing each other in and out of the pool for a few minutes, before the story line moves on.
Today, when I checked the Parents Guide for this movie the concern listed was: “Full frontal nudity in a non-sexual way.” True. The rest of the movie everyone stayed fully clothed, skirts down to the floor and collars up to their chins.
I never figured out the point of this scene, which would lift right out of the film without changing the plot a bit. Unless it was to shock the daylights out of this grandma!
Room With a View is worth your while and I would recommend it. Just keep your finger on the fast forward button.