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An Ideal Husband
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This is the greatest production of an Oscar Wilde play I have ever seen, and leaves me on pins and needles waiting for the release later this year of The Importance of Being Earnest because it also stars an actor who seems born to perform in Wilde's plays/movies: Rupert Everett.
The performances: wonderful all. Rupert Everett's work nears the genius level. Jeremy Northam as a not-so-perfect parliamentarian is great. John Wood as his father stands out. And there are the ever-so-essential ladies: Cate Blanchett as Northam's wife (would you believe she is Australian?), who believes she has a perfect husband. Julianne Moore as one of the most charmingly wicked women ever to grace the screen (would you believe she is from North Carolina?), and the very strong presence of Minnie Driver (yes, she actually is from England). All together, they create an effervescent champagne of a film.
The perfect find out they are not so perfect. The expecters of perfection find out they themselves are also not so perfect. Love finally lowers its standards to include the imperfection of the beloved. Even the loser at evildoing turns out to have an unexpected side to her. This is the film's theme. The actors and the director of this film, however, ironically bring this film close to, if not at, the peak of perfection.
The final scene is an ode to joy. Watch it and have fun!
And the dark secrets of a seemingly perfect man are at the heart of "An Ideal Husband," a powerful and witty adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic play. It's not entirely faithful to the play, but it rests on Wilde's brilliant writing and a quartet of formidable actors (although Minnie Driver's character seems... almost unnecessary).
Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam) seems to have it all -- a flourishing career in Parliament, his beautiful and perfect wife Lady Gertrude (Cate Blanchett), and the universal respect given to a man with a perfect reputation. He has a vivacious sister (Minnie Driver) and is pals with a charming, womanizing, ironic and very bored playboy, Lord Goring (Rupert Everett).
But when a certain Mrs. Cheveley (Julianne Moore) arrives from Vienna, things take a sudden turn for the worst. She has Robert's dirty little secret, a financial scam from years ago. She'll give him the proof of his misdeed, but only if he sacrifices his principles and supports the Suez Canal motion. Otherwise, she'll make the letter public and wreck his marriage and his career. It's up to Lord Goring to get his pal out of trouble...
"An Ideal Husband" is an enjoyable and witty play, with a plot that twists right up to the final scenes and a genuinely romantic subplot -- the only downside is the exclusion of one subplot from the original play The study of morality, payback for one's sins, the power of words and the need for forgiveness is much more interesting than the typical period-dress drama.Read more ›
The most delightful aspect of the movie is its timelessness. It was written in 1899, but the plot of political intrigue, power-grubbing, and a rare, conscientious politician is just as apt today as it was when it was penned. The light-hearted love story that's intertwined is just a bonus.
Watch the movie if you must, for its fine cast, beautiful costumes and witty lines (many taken verbatim from the play, of course). Just don't expect to experience the 'true spirit' of Wilde's play. The omission of the "bracelet scene" certainly took away all my enjoyment of this adaptation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cleverly written, wonderfully acted. The perfect British social comedy from turn of 19th century.Published 25 days ago by LNM
Liked the period costumes but the storyline was a little thin for me.Published 2 months ago by K. C. Billotte
One of the funniest, most clever movies I have ever seen! Oscar Wilde's story of intrigue, politics, mistaken views, and love is remarkably played out by a superb cast who... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Grimalkin
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