A Room with a View (1985)

The manners and manias of polite Edwardian society are studiously dissected in this typical Merchant-Ivory period drama, a handsomely mounted adaptation of E.M. Forster’s 1908 novel.

Stills must not be reproduced, copied or downloaded in any way. Hard copies of some images can be bought via the BFI Printstore and the complete collection can be accessed for commercial reuse via BFI Stills.

Film details

Cast & Credits


“An intellectual film, but intellectual about emotions: it encourages us to think about how we feel, instead of simply acting on our feelings.”
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, 1986

In turn-of-the-century Italy with her maiden aunt, young Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) is courted by the romantic George (Julian Sands). Although his sudden kiss in a barley field awakens longings of her own, she goes home to Surrey and gets engaged to priggish Cecil Vyse (Daniel Day Lewis) – at which point George reappears.

James Ivory’s direction is characteristically cool and polished, and the film’s good looks won it two Oscars. There’s quiet humour in the foibles of Lucy’s purse-lipped entourage, but her wavering between familiar confinement and the possibility of a wider life – both implicit in the title – feels more theoretical than vital to her well-being. Still, the film has a happier ending than the book.

Following David Lean’s version of E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India (1984), Merchant-Ivory adapted three of the author’s novels, including Maurice (1987) and Howards End (1991).

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top