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A Room with a View (2007)

It's the Edwardian era. The Honeychurches - Marian Honeychurch and her two just of age children Lucy Honeychurch and Freddy Honeychurch - are a carefree and fun-loving family that live in ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Freddy Honeychurch (as Tag Stewart)
Christine Kavanagh ...
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Paolo
Sheila Reid ...
Paolo Malco ...
Fabio
Gilda Gradi ...
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Storyline

It's the Edwardian era. The Honeychurches - Marian Honeychurch and her two just of age children Lucy Honeychurch and Freddy Honeychurch - are a carefree and fun-loving family that live in the country town of Summer Street, Surrey. Regardless, Lucy is a proper young woman. Some can tell by the way she plays Beethoven on the piano that there is a seething passion underneath her proper demeanor. She and her older cousin, her chaperon Charlotte Barlett, who is officious in a slyly undermining way, travel to Florence, Italy for a week-long respite. The Pensione Bertolini where they are staying is popular among British tourists. Among the disparate group of other British guests at the pensione are a Mr. Emerson, who Charlotte considers vulgar because of his forwardness, and his son, the bright but brooding George Emerson. As their stay progresses, George feels that Italian life is opening his eyes to what is important in life, and he feels the same is happening to Lucy. On a group outing, ... Written by Dr-Essam

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Drama

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13 April 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Et rom med utsikt  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 1912 and 1922. See more »

Connections

Version of ITV Play of the Week: A Room with a View (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata No. 14, Presto agitato
("Moonlight sonata")
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Very enjoyable, moreso than the original
27 November 2008 | by (Western Hemisphere) – See all my reviews

At first I wasn't sure how I'd react to this remake because I used to think I enjoyed the original, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it much easier to follow the *story* and see the *characters* in this retelling. It was actually quite refreshing.

I didn't realize until I saw this version that the 1985 film is so self-consciously stylistic that it ends up being too clever for its own good. In the original, the intonation by the actors is so stilted that the dialogue feels like a series of non sequiturs. Every shot screams, "Look! Look at this gorgeous cinematography!" There isn't much chemistry between the two romantic leads, Daniel Day Lewis reduces Cecil to a tedious cartoon character, and Denholm Elliott overdoes his accent. Julian Sands, though interesting, seems more like a brother from another planet than a thoughtful subversive. In the Merchant-Ivory version, the story and the characters get buried under a layer of heavily vaselined romanticism.

Through this bittersweet remake, I finally saw the story and felt I better understood what Forster was trying to say in his book. You see the Emersons' working-class roots and how they stick out among the more genteel travelers in Florence. You get to really see Cecil as a good but flawed human being. And, most importantly, you see Lucy as a sweet but unsure girl growing into a bright young woman in spite of herself.

Director Renton keeps a light touch and doesn't spend any more time than is necessary on any part of the story. You see a dinner party, you hear a rough voice cut through the chatter, you see Charlotte put on the spot. That's the point of that scene, and it does its job with no extra fanfare. There is no inordinate amount of time spent on playing up some tennis game or skinnydipping episode. No one is allowed to chew the scenery.

As a result, I felt moved by the passion between Lucy and George in a way that I didn't when watching the original. I felt the pain caused by their predicament. The scenes between Lucy and George were more emotionally charged, especially when Lucy has her epiphany. In the 1985 version, every scene between the two leads feels like little more than comic relief.

And yes, I liked the ending in this version. It added gravity to the story and helped me feel the depth of Lucy's love for George. Kudos to Andrew Davies, Nicholas Renton, and especially to Rafe Spall and the beautiful Elaine Cassidy. They all did a brilliant job in bringing a terrific story to life. By the end of this version, I had forgotten all about the original and fell in love with these characters all over again.


11 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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