Directed by James Ivory • 1986 • United Kingdom
Starring Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Day-Lewis
Merchant Ivory Productions, led by director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant, became a household name with A ROOM WITH A VIEW, the first of their extraordinary adaptations of E. M. Forster novels. A cherubic nineteen-year-old Helena Bonham Carter plays Lucy Honeychurch, a young, independent-minded, upper-class Edwardian woman who is trying to sort out her burgeoning romantic feelings, divided between an enigmatic free spirit (Julian Sands) she meets on vacation in Florence and the priggish bookworm (Daniel Day-Lewis) to whom she becomes engaged back in the more corseted Surrey. Funny, sexy, and sophisticated, this gargantuan art-house hit features a sublime supporting cast—including Simon Callow, Judi Dench, Denholm Elliott, and Maggie Smith—and remains a touchstone of intelligent romantic cinema.