Merchant Ivory’s runaway success is at risk of being one long, lavish cliché. Yet it’s not quite as safe as you may recall.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s script teases out the brittle bite to EM Forster’s prose, while the likes of Maggie Smith and Denholm Elliott ensure that Helena Bonham Carter’s passionate rite of passage is contrasted with a rueful older generation quietly envious of her youthful freedom.
Florence has never looked lovelier or England so bucolic. If that cuts no ice, though, there’s always the fleeting sight of Julian Sands’ penis.