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A Good Woman (2004)

Helen Hunt , Scarlett Johansson , Mike Barker  |  PG |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (282 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Hunt, Scarlett Johansson, Milena Vukotic, Stephen Campbell Moore, Mark Umbers
  • Directors: Mike Barker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: June 13, 2006
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (282 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F3UAFC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,515 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Good Woman" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Director and producer commentary
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Editorial Reviews

Based on a play by Oscar Wilde and set in the 1930's, Helen Hunt stars as a Manhatten socialite fleeing to start a new life. Landing at the Amalfi Coast, her friendship with a married count is taken for an adulterous affair and starts local gossips tongues wagging. Scarlett Johansson and Tom Wilkenson co-star.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
124 of 131 people found the following review helpful
Some people like to skydive or rock climb for adventure. I must admit, at this stage in my life, adventure (for me) is jumping into a movie that I know absolutely nothing about and hoping for the best. Daring, huh? Such is the case with the vaguely titled "A Good Woman." I knew it starred Helen Hunt, Tom Wilkinson and Scarlett Johannson--and that was enough to lead me on the "adventure" of discovering this film. Imagine my surprise, then, (about a third of the way through) when a character named Windermere was purchasing a fan for his wife--and I suddenly realized I was watching a strange modernization of Oscar Wilde's classic play aptly entitled "Lady Windermere's Fan." I felt pretty foolish, I must admit--but I don't entirely blame myself.

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.
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93 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth and love March 25, 2008
Is there such a thing as a bad movie made in Italy? Probably, but at least the scenery's usually good. I can't imagine A Good Woman working in a setting like New York or London, but I don't have to. It's set in 1930's Amalfi, the perfect background for a story like this one. Professional mistress Mrs. Erlynne flees to Italy when too many wives are on to her at home. On the ship, she notices a newspaper photo of a young couple, and she knows exactly what her next move should be. The young wife is innocent and naive, and all sorts of innuendo and gossip go flying around Amalfi that season.
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.
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
The film is titled `A Good Woman,' but it is actually filmed version of Oscar Wilde play `Lady Windermere's Fan.' Wilde's original, which was put on stage in 1892 and became the first `hit' for Wilde, was set in the drawing room of end-of-the-century England, but `A Good Woman' shifted the background to the Amalfi coast (South Italy) in the 1930s. The director is Mike Barker from England (`To Kill a King'), but some of the main characters' roles are played by American actors.

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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly good May 12, 2010
By Cleo
I resisted watching this movie because it was described as Helen Hunt is a courtesan ... and Helen Hunt is not my idea of a ruthless purveyor of her own flesh. Well, it turns out that dissonance is essential to the story. The script has been adapted to suit the two American actresses and Oscar Wilde's aphorism are made to drop gracefully as if naturally from the English actors' mouths. The clothes and the sets are gorgeous and perfect eye candy for fans of English-made period costume films. Scarlett Johannson has never looked so simultaneously delicately-molded and small boned while still voluptuous as she does in this movie. And despite the period pancake style of maquillage, Helen Hunt's style and behavior make it perfectly believable that she has the power to attract men and to incur the jealousy and wariness of women.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Love this movie. I saw it on TV and wanted to buy it, but I never received it.
Published 1 day ago by Anicia R. Kuchesky
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this movie
I loved this movie! It will keep you wondering, in suspense and touching to the heart. I missed it on my cable channel and could not find it again. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Lynette Cunningham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 20 days ago by MAXINE DIXON
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see for anyone that likes a well written story.
This movie was made 2 other times, which I did not know. But the titles showed it was adapted from a play written by Oscar Wilde. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Judith K. Carlyle
3.0 out of 5 stars period piece with a twist
Helen Hunt's performance was a little weak. Liked the period and the twist to the story which kept the viewer interested.It's worth watch if you like period pieces.
Published 1 month ago by Martha Durney
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see.
Excelent movie, great performace from both actresses. Very good direction and ambience.
Great for a movie night with a glass of wine.
Published 2 months ago by BetaRiguel
4.0 out of 5 stars not a bad movie
Movie kept my interest the whole way through. Totally unexpected ending. Would recommend watching it. Good actor with excellent acting!
Published 2 months ago by Linda K.
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful love story about an estranged mother
Love the story line and actors couldn't have been better. Enojoyed it so much it almost brought tears to my eyes. Denifetely, something to watch.
Published 2 months ago by Dinorah Gamez
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart story, beautifully filmed
I enjoyed watching this a 3rd time recently for its well played characters, beautiful shots, singular dialogue and nicely developed story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by C. Campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars The American wealthy in Italy during the depression
Gentlemen, Scarlett Johansson is reason enough to stream this period piece. Scarlett plays a naive newlywed thrust into the ultra wealthy circles of her new husband. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ron Baker
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