Denholm Elliot received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Mr. Emerson in A Room With A View.
After winning three Baftas in a role for a supporting actor Elliot finally received an Oscar nomination for his role in this film. I imagine this possibly helped give Elliot the edge with voters over Daniel Day-Lewis from the same film for portraying the stiffest of all Edwardians. Elliot portrays quite a different character in Mr. Emerson who does not abide by many of the Edwardian requirements for proper living and of course behavior. He is a bit more emotional and flamboyant that the ideal Edwardian person, as is his free spirited son George (Julian Sands).
The part is actually rather limited and simplistic though. All Mr. Emerson does is act a little flamboyant, as well as shows his caring for his son who he wants the best for. He is only in a few scenes actually and his impact on the film is not all that great. Denholm Elliot though does his best to infuse life into his part in small ways in his short scenes. He most certainly has an energy in his scenes showing how he is not at all repressed like many of the other people who bend to the rules of society. As well as showing a quiet passion and love for his son showing that Mr. Emerson wants what is best for his son.
Denholm Elliot certainly does fulfill his role. I would in fact say he fulfills it as about any other actor could have. He is a nice enough presence in the film really, but he really is not a particularly memorable one either. I won't say this is his fault in the least he just is not given enough to do. It is never a bad performance in any shape or form. It is an entirely suitable performance for the film, and he does not waste his screen time as he very well could have. In the end though it just is not a remarkable performance, and his nomination for this film was not needed.