It is common for passionate stories, especially when they are located in times of certain reprimand for moral reasons, to be approached as a division or conflict between the rational and the passionate. Less often, in these same contexts, the passionate response is also the most sensible, perhaps because it removes a sense of conflict.
But there are teachers capable of navigating that journey and continuing to leave stories full of interest as well as passion. This is the case of James Ivory, one of the geniuses of period drama or also called “cup cinema”. It is enough to take one of his best films to verify it. We talk about ‘A room with a view‘, a fabulous romantic film that we can watch on HBO Max (also on Prime Video and filmin).
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Based on a novel by the great writer EM Forster, the film follows a young Englishwoman (Helena Bonham Carter) on her journey to Florence. The lady, from a good family, is accompanied by her cousin and her companion (Maggie Smith), in charge of keep your composure and forms during your foreign adventure.
There they meet a couple of English gentlemen, who offer their rooms for them to enjoy their rooms. During the trip, the young woman observes a messy accident that causes her to faint, and she is rescued by one of these gentlemen (Julian Sands). The event will change their lives foreverthough she tries to stay the course by getting engaged to a prominent but snobbish male (Daniel Day-Lewis).
The novel has been object of desire for an adaptation for decades. In the 1940s, Forster was offered a large sum to make the film, but he refused. After his death in 1970, the rights passed to King’s College, Cambridge, who were convinced by the proposal that Ivory and his producer Ismail Merchant made about what the film would be like.
‘A room with a view’: intellectual and emotional
The film has an interesting literary touch, acquired by its use of explanatory labels and titles for its chapters. Far from being something that could work against him, that episodic air helps mark each event that happens in this romantic story, which It has a formidable structure. that, in many aspects, is influential for the model of romantic comedy that we will see in the nineties.
What keeps the film refreshing after all these years is how it presents the character of Sands as the option that makes the most sense from a rational point of view, as well as being extremely passionate.
An example of how the film wants to marry the intellectual and the emotional -in the story, but also in the tone used-, putting the real conflict in the repressions of the time for a promising young woman with ambitions of liberation like the character of Bonham Carter. Details of pure exquisiteness that keep ‘A Room with a View’ as a masterful film.
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What to see on HBO Max: passion in Italy at the beginning of the 20th century with Daniel Day-Lewis in a great romance from one of the masters of the genre