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A Good Woman
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Instead of the claustrophobic drawing rooms in 1890's England, "A Good Woman" is fashioned in Italy of the 1930's (an odd choice considering the political climate at the time--which is conveniently never mentioned). The Windermere's are now Americans. And what was once Wilde's comedy of manners has become a rather stilted drama with occasional one-liners that fans of Wilde's works will recognize. I certainly have no problem with re-imagining a classic work, such as this. But "A Good Woman" keeps the storyline of "Lady Windermere's Fan" while jettisoning the elements that make it an effective social commentary. The intimate settings of the play establish a world where gossip is an essential part of daily life, the wicked interactions are all anyone have to occupy their time. By opening things up to the Italian countryside, this seems to be less relevant. It's as if the primary characters are engaged in a different movie from the supporting players who make mockery of them.
"A Good Woman" tells the story of Mrs.Read more ›
This is a woman's picture, and Helen Hunt as the adventuress has never looked more beautiful. Her voice, unfortunately, is rather too clipped and less sultry than it need to be, but in the end, she pulls of her role. Scarlett Johanssen is well-suited to her character, and both women turn out to be more than they seem at the end. Beautiful wardrobe, very subtle music, and a fine performance by Tom Wilkinson, as a jaded, expat Brit who has learned a little something about reality and happiness, add to the success of this production.
I'm now off to read the Oscar Wilde original.
Two women play the central roles in `A Good Woman.' One is Mrs. Erlynne, `a woman of experience' (Helen Hunt, cast against type) a seductive middle-aged woman from New York. Shunned by the aristocratic society, she still hopes to win the love of gentleman - a rich gentleman - and here in Italy, it seems, she has already attracted some of them. One of them is `Tuppy' (delightful Tom Wilkinson), who refuses to listen to the rumor about Erlynne.
The other woman is Lady Windermere, `a woman of innocence' (Scarlett Johansson), who is newly married, and devotes herself to her husband. After arriving at this beautiful Italian resort, however, her husband Lord Windermere (Mark Umbers) seems to have got nervous about something, some secret he knows, which lady's man Lord Darlington (Stephen Campbell Moore) also happen to notice in his checkbook.
The film retains the basic storyline of Wilde's original. There is a twist (as in the original) which might or might not surprise you. All in all the filmed version is successful in maintaining our interest in the story, which gets melodramatic especially in the second half. The changed location is not a bad thing to me (the `stagy' films are not my cup of tea), but the changed times are a different matter.Read more ›
Mrs. Erlynne (Helen Hunt) is a lady of desires who has just fled the USA with debtors breathing down her voluptuous décolletage: she has always made her way by courting and conquering married men and their bank accounts. She flees to Amalfi where she encounters the Windemeres - dashing Robert (Mark Umbers) and his gorgeous but somewhat naive wife of one year Meg (Scarlett Johansson). Mrs. Erlynne and Robert share a secret that is mistaken by all to be an affair: Meg the pure is simultaneously being seduced by Lord Darlington (Stephen Campbell Moore). The townsfolk of Amalfi gossip and spy and plan at every occasion to bring light to the goings on of the naughty Mrs. Erlynne - with the exception of a twice divorced older gent Tuppy (Tom Wilkinson) who instead has his eye on Mrs. Erlynne as his perfect new mate. The trail of cookie crumbs is left when Mrs. Erlynne advises Robert to buy his wife a fan - with all the history of seductive uses that holds. That fan travels around the circles and is eventually the means by which the secrets are made clear and the misrepresented scandals are solved.
The setting of Wilde's comedy has been updated very successfully to the 1930s and the costumes and extraordinary views of the insides and vistas of Amalfi are a fine marriage.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Now I know why grandma was always glued to those black and whites. People had appreciation for genuine plots and the attention span to enjoy them back in her day.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great Oscar Wilde witticisms, Great scenery of Amalfi! Neat wardrobe. Really enjoyed it.Published 2 months ago by Mary Ellen Feldcamp
Beautiful scenery. But a little boring. Also I think Helen Hunt is definitely to unattractive to make her role believable .Sorry...Published 2 months ago by teresa
Absolutely love this movie!! I read other reviews on this site and totally disagree with some of them. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Made me want to visit the Amalfi coast in Italy. Gorgeous scenary. Good plot.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I really liked this movie so I bought a copy for my own library.Published 4 months ago by J. Erin Dugan
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