Daniel Day Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter

I’ve discovered recently that there are quite a few people out there who dislike Helena Bonham Carter. I’m really surprised by this revelation because I think she’s a great actress. Apparently, however, Bonham Carter’s posh accent and her unconventional looks are considered to be valid reasons for her critics to vent their venom.

Firstly, I find the fact that Helena Bonham Carter doesn’t conform to the usual filmstar glamour extremely refreshing. Have people really become so shallow that they can’t hold a talented actress in high esteem simply because she doesn’t wear nice frocks and have her hair artificially straightened for the red carpet?

Secondly, Helena Bonham Carter’s naturally plummy accent is surely irrelevant when she’s acting. Take her last role – the eccentric piemaker Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet St, she didn’t have a plummy accent, did she?

I suspect that Bonham Carter’s critics are making their judgment based on her most recent roles. Bellatrix Lestrange, Mrs Bucket, Mrs Lovett – none of them do her any favours in the looks department, but the fact that she takes on such unglamorous roles has to be admired, not attacked, surely?

Obviously if you’re not a fan of her partner Tim Burton, then your opinion of her acting may have been affected by her involvement in his highly stylised movies since 2001. But how can you not love Tim Burton’s movies? I can’t wait for Alice in Wonderland to be made…

Helena Bonham Carter

Anyway, A Room with a View – I love this triple-Oscar winning movie adaptation of EM Forster’s novel for its witty script, brilliant British cast and visual splendour. Helena Bonham Carter was definitely the star of this movie. It was the one that launched her lengthy career, and she was perfect in it.

On Film4 this afternoon at 6.45pm