On one's first visit to Florence, one must have a room with a view.
E.M. Forster's 1908 novel, A ROOM WITH A VIEW, is adapted for the screen by director James Ivory in this beautifully lighthearted tale of Edwardian manners. Helena Bonham Carter stars as a young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch. When Lucy and her spinster chaperone, Charlotte Bartlett (Maggie Smith), travel to Florence, they meet an unconventional Englishman, Mr. Emerson (Denholm Elliott), and his romantically unhappy son, George (Julian Sands). After George makes the grievous mistake of kissing Lucy during a picnic in the Florentine hills, Charlotte rushes her back to England. Safely home, Lucy becomes engaged to the stiff, very proper Cecil (Daniel Day-Lewis), but after finding out the Emersons have moved close by, Lucy has a hard time ignoring her attraction to the unsuitable George. Producer Ismail Merchant considered A ROOM WITH A VIEW Merchant Ivory's first genuine blockbuster, and it enjoyed more popular success than any previous Merchant Ivory film. Screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was awarded an Academy Award for her screenplay, and the film itself was nominated for Best Picture. Director James Ivory's tale also features British movie icons Judi Dench and Simon Callow. A ROOM WITH A VIEW was the first of three Forster novels (the other two were MAURICE and HOWARDS END) adapted by Merchant Ivory Productions.