When Lucy Honeychurch and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence with rooms without views, fellow guests Mr Emerson and son George step in to remedy the situation. Meeting... See full summary »
Helena Bonham Carter,
Encounter of three social classes of England at the beginning of the 20th century : the Victorian capitalists (the Wilcoxes) considering themselves as aristocrats, whose only god is money ; the enlightened bourgeois (the Schlegels), humanistic and philanthropic ; and the workers (the Basts), fighting to survive. The Schlegel sisters' humanism will be torn apart as they try both to softly knock down the Wilcox's prejudices and to help the Basts. Written by
When Miss Margaret Schlegel (Emma Thompson) comes down the stairs and first meets Mr. Bast (when he attempts to retrieve his umbrella), Margarete calls her sister "Helena" and not "Helen". Helena is the real name of the actress portraying the sister (Helena Bonham Carter), and "Helen" is her characters name. See more »
Dearest Meg, I'm having a glorious time. I like them all. They are the very happiest, jolliest family that you can imagine. The fun of it is that they think me a noodle, and say so - at least, Mr. Wilcox does. Oh Meg, should we ever learn to talk less.
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Here is another example of what the British are best at in film-making. Based on E.M. Forster's novel `Return to Howards End' this film is more or less a set piece in the strictest period-piece tradition, and thus in style is somewhat akin to that great TV series `Return to Brideshead' and even Robert Altman came up trumps with his splendid `Gosford Park' which most definitely takes its well-earned place alongside such classical pieces of this genre.
Likewise, `Howards End' relies heavily on British actors who have worked their way up through live theatre: it is here that you get the best interpretations, the best performances, admirably shown in so many films made on both sides of the Atlantic. If Vanessa Redgrave has long since been a legend among British actresses, Emma Thompson is no lesser performer, and as to the pedigree of Helena Bonham-Carter there can be no arguing. Anthony Hopkins is at least up to the mark in his always sober readings in these kinds of films.
The Bonham-Carter family were well known in the fashionable circles of 1930's London high-society life, for their extravagant soirées and philanthropic sponsoring of young artists, especially musicians, similarly to the Sitwell family from their Chelsea home. Thus it is hardly surprising that Helena Bonham-Carter finds these kinds of rôles admirably suited to her
A Room with a View, anything Shakespearean, among other select `comedies'.
Prunella Scales is a grand old lady of theatre, cinema and television, and I can remember her offerings back in the late fifties-early sixties especially on radio programmes.
Beautifully filmed in mostly Oxfordshire and in several places in London, the film also has a few scenes on the coast, possibly Dorsetshire or more probably the south coast of Devon, surprisingly not included in IMDb's very detailed listing of locations. Richard Robbins' music seemed to be heavily influenced by Philip Glass at times, which seemed a misfit, though it was nice to hear a few snatches by Percy Grainger, as well as a version for four hands on the piano of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, possibly one of those tremendous transcriptions which Franz Liszt carried out.
The dialogues are mostly exquisitely delivered, with that peculiarly British panache and timing, though slightly spoiled in this recent re-viewing as there were some untimely cuts on the copy in question. However, the story holds its line and is faithful to E.M. Forster's original concept. He has long been one of the greatest of British novelists, with such works as `A Passage to India', `Where Angels Fear to Tread' and `A Room with a View' to his credit, for serious readers of real literature.
This film version maintains that seriousness for people interested in real play-acting.
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