This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
4 Star Films’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
With direction by James Ivory and a cast including Helen Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith, and Daniel Day-Lewis, the film opens in Italy where a well to do English woman is on holiday with her significantly older cousin.
While staying in Italy she falls in love with the country and comes to appreciate the many different people you come across there. It could be a commanding author, a pair of kindly old women, or a father and son with a more open way of thinking. In fact the Emerson’s reflect the change that is coming to England while Lucy and her cousin Charlotte reflect the old Victorian way of England. They are so caught up in manners and etiquette that they never give much thought to their actual desires and feelings. This becomes extremely important when Lucy returns home to her family and the snobbish but well-meaning young man she is to marry. She believes she is in love, but then the Emerson’s come to live nearby and Lucy is in conflict, especially after an incident in Italy.
Lucy continues to follow the norms of what she is supposed to do, and it is only after much lying to others and herself that she truly confesses her feelings. Things are not turning out the way she had expected and thanks to kindly Mr. Emerson she finally leaves the pleasantries behind for love. She returns to Italy with her love and is met with another group of colorful individuals and she once again has a room with a view. This film is obviously very English and it is made by the characters like Mr. Beebe, Charlotte, and the Emersons who all make this a pleasant film to watch.