Posts Tagged ‘julian sands’

Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter in her first cinematic role) and her cousin and chaperone Charlotte Bartlett (Maggie Smith) are on holiday in Florence, but find that their hotel rooms do not have the view they requested.  Mr Emerson Denholm Elliott) and his son George (Julian Sands) offer to let the ladies have their rooms – which do have a view.  A friendship of sorts develops between Lucy and the moody and slightly eccentric George, but when she goes back to England, she becomes engaged to the stuffy Cecil Vyse (an almost unrecognisable Daniel Day Lewis).  However, when George and his father rent a cottage in the village where Lucy lives, she finds herself drawn to George again…

This is a lovely looking film, and still feels fresh although it’s now 26 years old (!)  It has a stellar cast – Maggie Smith and Judi Dench are excellent as always.  Simon Callow is also great as Reverend Beebe, and Denholm Elliott snatches his scenes from under everybody’s noses; he is absolutely terrific as Mr Emerson (and garnered an Oscar nomination for his performance).  A fresh faced Rupert Graves plays Freddy, Lucy’s brother, and the character is adorable.  I was less keen on Danie Day Lewis’ performance as Cecil Vyse, but that is probably because I found the character difficult to warm to.  Helena Bonham Carter displays the talent that would lead her to become one of Britain’s most respected actress.  Her performance here may be more raw than her later performances, but she still captures the character very well indeed.  The only weak spot in the cast for me was Julian Sands.  I wanted to like him, but I just thought his acting was so incredibly wooden as to verge on embarrassing.

However, there’s still plenty here to enjoy – it’s one of Merchant Ivory’s most popular productions and definitely a must-see for any fans of period drama.  Florence looks lovely, and it’s a very sweet film with lots of unexpected humour.  The ending is hardly a surprise, but is very satisfying nonetheless.  Certainly recommended, for a lovely story, and an almost perfect cast.

Year of release: 1985

Director: James Ivory

Writers: E M Forster (book), Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Main cast: Helena Bonham Carter, Julian Sands, Denholm Elliott, Maggie Smith, Daniel Day Lewis

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