Another of Wildes social satires, An Ideal Husband revolves around the lives of two men, successful political figure Sir Robert Chiltern and his friend the uninspired but utterly charming Lord Arthur Goring. Chilterns life is perfect thanks to the help of his loving and brilliant wife Gerturde and the support of his quick witted sister Mabel. Gorings life is one of lounging, flirting with Mabel, and avoiding his fathers instance that he should marry. The world of these men is turned upside down by the arrival of old acquaintance Mrs. Laura Cheveley who has come with blackmail in mind. Chiltern could lose everything including Gertrude. It is up to his wife and Goring to confront this dilemma, but it could risk Gorings chances to finally win over Mabel. As the comments and lies begin to fly about, its revealed that the man thought to be perfect is flawed, the man with all the flaws must do something right, and the question remains what makes an ideal husband?
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Having read other users' reports of this film, I must say that I don'tsharethe almost complete "Love it of hate it" feel. Yes, there was too much plotand not enough witty Wildeness, which is, lets face it, what makes Wilde'splays such a joy to behold. I didn't think that is was too complicated oritwas such a bore that you had to concentrate to the max all through the film(although the reviewer is a remarkably intelligent individual :) and Icertainly didn't think it was "too nice" as has been described; Wildetendedto write stuff that was too weird to happen in real life, and lets face it,most of Hollywood would be guilty of the same crime, if indeed it is acrime.However, don't expect too much, and you'll get quite a bit. My Everett isfantastic in it, and as Wildean as your gonna get, and Minnie Driver, is asnice as a nice person could be as the standard "strong woman" that Wilde iscompelled to introduce to all his plays.All in all, a decent 7 1/2 out of 10. Fine for a laugh, but don't expect aVictorian documentary or a brand new Wilde reading, because this filmcertainly is not.
This is by far my favorite film of '99! The costumes, the sets, the music, all dramatic and full of good-taste. Northam, as always, is at his best in this film, and Blanchett sets him off wonderfully. It is a story of one's past threatening one's future, and teaches a good lesson in the end. Witty, charming, and beautiful, this is one film you have to see. However, families be warned (and women, as well). In the opening credits is the one thing that brought this film it's rating. A blurry figure of a nude woman. Pity they had to spice this wonderful cake with pornography, but if you skip the first track, all you'll miss is an eyeful.
I saw "An Ideal Husband" at the Old Vic theater in London, and was surprisedat the time how timely a 100 year old play could be.When I saw the trailers, TV ads and posters for this version, it seemed likean entirely different story--will Rupert Everett get married off. That'scertainly a thread in the movie, but in the marketing of this version, theymade it appear as if it was the entire wardrobe.I didn't see the film when it was in theaters because these ads, with theirvery modern music and fast cutting, made the film look like a joke.But when it came out on video, I decided to try it, and am glad I did.The film itself is excellent. Beautifully shot and paced, with an expertcast. Wilde's humor shines through, and the writer-director has done awonderful job "opening" up the play into a film, without changing anythingimportant. It's a masterful job of translating from stage to screen. It'sreally so crisply done, and very funny.In years to come people will realise that this is a fine movie version ofthis play. And by then, hopefully, they will have either forgotten about themarketing campaign, or hopefully learned from it.I recommend the film.
Oscar Wilde's century old "An Ideal Husband" holds up much better thanmostworks half its age, notably Terence Rattigan's "The Winslow Boy", and thusremains much more relevant to our times. It is so fitting that it couldbeseen as a wry commentary on contemporary politics and the pundits whodrivethat machinery. The self-deprecating humor and cynicism distinguish thismiddle class play from most others, and offers a far more perceptive andhonest portrait of its class than those that merely provide lip servicebutwithout the fortitude and means to knock its audience off its pedestal.Wilde's sharp, acerbic wit takes centerstage and holds the mirror up tosociety, wrecking havoc on its unsuspecting occupants who are much toovainand self-conscious to notice the high drama unfolding daily amidst thepompand circumstance. It is Wilde's good fortune that wit is his greatestally,a weapon he dispenses with ease and alacrity to both disarm and endear thevery same class he so lovingly mocks and skewers.Oliver Parker's direction of the1999 film version of the same name iscompetent and serviceable, opening up the play in the beginning and theendwhile keeping the action brisk and fluid. To his credit Mr. Parker knowsbetter than to tamper with a classic that for better or worse will beremembered more as an Oscar Wilde film than Oliver Parker's.
If you are a fan of witty sophisticated dialogue, expertly delivered by a very capable cast, treat yourself to Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband". Rupert Everett is cast perfectly as the living embodiment of self-absorbed Lord Arthur Goring, the well-born son of old money and quite happy to pursue a life of profound idleness. The story, while centered on an international investment scheme promoted by a woman of mystery and dubious character, Mrs. Laura Cheveley (Julianne Moore), describes with sharp unerring wit, timeless facets of the human condition that define us as, well... human. Wilde's take on friendship, fidelity, greed, ethics, political maneuverings, betrayal and ultimately the love we all seek, is pure delight. The film, adapted from Wilde's 1895 stage play, is a visual feast of elaborate costumes and lush interior sets. The story moves along at a fairly good pace. The acting throughout is top-notch, noteworthy for mention is Cate Blanchett (of "Elizabeth") who always delivers a polished performance. This is a film that is heavily nuanced with rich descriptive dialog and can be enjoyed again and again.
This is a rare film, it has a very talented cast and a story that althoughset in the late 1800's could easily have taken place now- the scandalouselements are still the same. Rupertt Everert, as always, really steals theshow, he is fantastic as the eternal bachelor who may, or may not be readyfor a serious commitment. Most of the cast did a great job, particularlyMoore, Blanchett and Northam. The cast deliver Wilde's play with zest andfantastic comic timing, and some of the scenes are spectacularly shot. It'sa wonderful film visually, from the locations down to the costumes. Whatthis film does best is providing the viewer with light civilisedentertainment, that doesn't require much brain power.
Not your usual British Costume romantic comedy piece. How could it be? It is written by Oscar Wilde with his usual witty, caustic remarks as timely today as when originally written. The smart repartee, plot twists and turns make it as interesting as when I originally viewed it. The cast is superb. Wardrobe and set design are amazing. Highly recommend!
This is a very good adaption of the Oscar Wilde play. Beautiful sets, music,and costumes are a great backdrop to the action. Rupert Everett is, asalways, very good, and Julianne Moore almost single-handedly stole everyscene she was in. The other actors, particularly Cate Blanchett, are alsoexcellent. Another fine British comedy.
People have asked me if this movie failed to work for me because Rupert Everett, who is openly gay, plays a straight hero in Oscar Wilde's work. I tell them, "Not at all!" He makes this whole movie and is entirely believable as the male lead. I normally like Jeremy Northam really well too, the other male lead, but Everett upstages him as the romantic and comedic lead at every point in the film. I have sent lots of women to the video store to rent this movie and not one of them has been anything but wildly enthusiastic about the movie and Everett after seeing it. This is a "must-see" AND "must-own" movie. I already own a copy which I bought after renting it twice!
This a wonderful piece of English Comedy Drama. The Gentle humour and lasersharp wit make for an enjoyable film all round. Oscar Wilde's masterful narrative is as funny today as it was in his time. Rupert Everett is the character personified, elegant, charming and as sharpas a needle. The whole cast work well together to bring this magnificantstory to life.Mavellous !
`An Ideal Husband'Rupert Everett stars as Lord Arthur Goring, a bachelor who's ex-finance(JulianneMoore) comes strolling back into town with a secret. The secret threatensto expose LordGoring's friend Sir Robert (Jeremy Northham) and his wife (Cate Blanchett).Set in 1894London, and adapted from the stage play by Oscar Wilde, `Husband' is thelatestcostume drama where `scandal' and `society' are the buzzwords and tedium istheaudience's reaction.Oliver Parker directed the 1995 Shakespeare flick `Othello' with a burningpaceand a slick cast led by Laurence Fishburne. That film was deeplyentertaining andshowed that Parker was capable of making the most mundane work seem freshagain.With `Husband', Parker seems to have forgotten this gift. Relying on thelame drama,the film utterly fails whenever the actors get serious. These costumefilmsare just all thesame. The plots seem to bleed into each other, the actors all give theidenticalinterpretations. I could easily predict how the score would sound, thelighting arranged,and each actor's enunciation. I am losing my patience for this genre (therecentmega-disappointment `The Winslow Boy') and I pray this well has rundry.I am so used to Rupert Everett's 3 week old kitten purr of a voice, Iimmediatelythought he was all wrong for the part of a dashing leading man. Rupert isaveryhandsome guy, but his acting up to this film has left a lot to be desired.In `Husband', ittakes time, but he soon becomes the film's saving grace. It's a funnyperformancestuffed with cynicism and wit. Julianne Moore equals Everett with styleandvenom.She's in the middle of a real career defining period(`Boogie Nights',`Cookie'sFortune'), and this film adds to the list of smashing performances. MinnieDriver andCate Blanchett bring up the rear of actors here. Ms. Driver looks justabout as animatedas I've seen her, and Ms. Blanchett looks lovely beyond words. Both aregiven very littleto do, thus a huge waste of talent occurs. That is tough towatch.`Ideal Husband' isn't my idea of a good time. The seniors in the audiencethat Iwatched it with disagreed. I feel very open minded to most intelligentfilms, I mean, come on, I'mnever picky. It's just these repressed society-`they're just likeus!'-corset andtea-'improper!' films have GOT TO GO. I can't handle another 45 minutesubplot aboutspilled tea again. Don't we have a reserve of gay coming of age filmsreadyto fill up theart houses? French films about the degradation of society? Anything,please.---------- 3
What a wonderful movie adaptation this is! The casting is perfectly moulded for the film. Cate Blanchett as Lady Chittern is simple wonderful. I adore Cate Blanchett, especially in her other film Elizabeth. Good quality acting from her in this film. I was also introduced to Julianne Moore in this film. I didnt know much about her but she stole the entire film. She made her character seem so overwhelmingly powerful and evil who has a sexy and ruthless side. She really made this film a joy to watch.However, i dont rate Minnie Driver's acting. Her acting was average but its didnt come to life. She didnt put any drama into her lines. She didnt try to stand out and make herself known in this film. The costumes were out of this world. They were breathtakingly gorgeous!!!!! Everyone, especially Blanchett looked stunning and Julianne looked really good too.Overall, i think this is a brilliant film. It is a shame that Minnie Driver was in it too. She didnt do anything spectacular in this film. Her acting was extremely weak in this film and was crumbled immediately under the professionalism of Blanchett and Moore.
In the tradition of the earlier Mirimax dramas of England of a century ago(Howard's End, Sense & Sensibility, Remains of the Day) Oliver Parker haswritten and directed "An Ideal Husband". The screenplay has been adaptedfrom the Oscar Wilde play relating the tale of five handsome upper classfolks of that era when men were still in charge, but women were barelyemerging as a force.Sir Robert Chiltern ( Jeremy Northam) and Gertrude, his wife (CateBlanchett) are the perfect couple. He is arepresentative in the House of Commonsand she the adoring and dutiful spouse. His best friend is the charmingperennial bachelor, Lord Arthur Goring, cynically portrayed by RupertEverett. Sir Robert's charming sister, Mabel (Minnie Driver), has her eyeonArthur. Into their lives comes the wickedly beautiful Mrs. Laura Chevely(Julianne Moore) with information that may turn their neatly ordered worldupside down. She blackmailsSir Robert with some dirt from his distant past.The performances are perfect and the language typically Wilde. Parker evengoes so far to introduce OscarWilde (Michael Culkin) in a cameo after his play, The Importance of BeingErnest, debuts in London.The costumes and sets are sumptuous. The music (Charlie Mole) is lush.Whenyou leave the theater you have visited with some attractive, intelligentdenizens of a bygone era when manners and class were very much what lifewasall about, but love does slip in bringing the proceedings to a sweet andsatisfying denouement.
this movie was excellent.ms. blanchett was excellent as gertrude,i saw a lot of her former character ELIZABETH in her.ms.moore was such a b ! i need to read the book now! it was a really good film and has made me a fan for these types of movies!
What will you do when the world you know ends? MargaretMitchell, as a child, was posed this rhetorical questionby her mother, and eventually came to terms with its disturbing possibilities by writing the pop classic GoneWith the Wind; Wilde's An Ideal Husband proposes to answera similar question by narrowing the scope to enclose awife's disillusionment with the person she thought was herhusband (the husband, Sir Robert Chiltern, she discoversearly in the story, rose to wealth and political influenceby peddling a state secret that would influence certainmarket investments). It appears to be an earlier (I'm guessing) prototype of the more tightly written Lady Windermere's Fan by the same author; the twist is thatLady Chiltern, unlike Lady Windermere, is not mistaken inher disillusionment, and, whether or not she'll decide toend the marriage, must pass through that membrane thatdivides her "ideal" life from the present reality of marriage to someone she now finds to be utterly human, orworse. Don't be scared off by the darker implications,however: this is very much a comedy.Lady Windermere was only halfway out the door when thesituation resolved itself as a comic misunderstanding; thecomedy at the heart of An Ideal Husband is the realizationthat one can survive real disillusionment, and, barring atrainwreck or certain disastrous acts of God, inevitably will live beyond one's honeymoon with life and get on with being married toreality.If these story elements sound a lot like Ibsen, I thinkit's that Ideal Husband is intended to lampoon A Doll'sHouse, by confronting a tragic "Nora" type heroine with amore Coward-ly, Wilde entourage telling her to get overherself and perhaps serve martinis. One element the workshave in common is that the conflict is brought to light bya blackmailer, except that in this case the blackmailer, Mrs. Chevely, isa woman and her victim, Chiltern, is a man, introducing the possibility that the victim's wife, also a woman, is closer to understandingthe enemy's devices; also that perhaps society's private and public situations are more controlled by women than the men would normally suppose.To what extent this film is rewritten from an actual Wildescript I can't say offhand. There are moments when theunmistakably Wilde ironic joke formula, a la The Importance of Being Earnest, leaks through ("Did you dosomething wrong? I certainly hope you did, because peoplewho do right all the time are so stuffy" and so on), perhaps a bit threadbare to regular Wilde fans. At othertimes the dramatic and comedic pace slows to that of amore realistically-constructed contemporary movie. Theselatter devices, however, could also be Wilde, who was certainly more than capable of portraying deeply felt,serious emotions and offsetting them with farcical humor.Cate Blanchett, as Lady Gertrude Chiltern, is effective assomeone who makes a transition from bliss to less thanbliss, with a careworn look about the eyes reminiscent ofEmma Thompson. Julianne Moore is an appropriately chicblackmailer for comedy (take that, Nils Krogstad!). MinnieDriver, in an important supporting role, also suffers admirably with the same offbeat, haunting beauty that madeher a hit in The Governess. As Lord Arthur Goring, thefriend to whom Chiltern (Jeremy Northam) turns to helpresolve this crisis, Rupert Everett comes the closest toembodying the soul and wit of Wilde himself, as a dandyand a bored, perhaps even occasionally sneering socialitewho is, nevertheless, not immune to human emotion nor compassion toward others. These two men, like the principal cast as a whole, are attractive, and one scenein a Turkish bath, where they recline perhaps a bit tooclose to each other, faintly suggests that, as in Wilde'sown life, the secrets veiled within a supposedly idealmarriage may have even more levels than the audience hasbeen shown. In general, I'd say this film is less entertaining thanLady Windermere, or some of the Shaw comedies (HeartbreakHouse; Fanny's First Play) that deal with similar situations of people getting on with their lives afterexposure to scandal or disillusionment. These comparisonsare at a pretty high level, of course, and it's safe tosay that anything worthy of being compared to Shaw is worth seeing. Compared to the usual group of film comediesthat are out there, this one is genuinely funny, and therefore a rare experience not to be missed.
Finally I was able to see this delightful, charming period comedy. This isone of the more entertaining movies I have seen this year, as it is full ofwitty moment that leave you amuse. I couldn't find more greater words to describe this movie other than thatthis is a great movie. Interesting satire of the society, great sense ofhumour within the movies. Super acting from everyone too, especiallyJulianne Moore-just perfect. I also enjoy watching the screen between RupurtEverett and the actor who played his father in the movie-I couldn't containmyself from laughers each time the two appeared on screen together. Anywaythis is an ideal movie to see for this summer, and even on video again lateron!
A lovely and wittily humorous period comedy set at the turn of the 19th century, delving into themes of romance, hypocrisy, and betrayal among the finest aristocracy. Splendid costumes design and detailed backdrop settings plus a sumptuous pick of casting so "appetizing" even Oscar Wilde could have been happy with.Sir Robert Chiltern (handsome Jeremy Northam), a well reputated influential politician and an English gentleman, is the ideal husband for the graceful Lady Chiltern (the very gorgeous Cate Blanchette). They have a widely envied perfect marriage until the charming Mrs. Cheveley (an immaculate Julianne Moore) appears with a threat to reveal a fateful secret from Chiltern's past so he will agree to support a crucial political movement. And that would be up to Chiltern's best pal the extravagant playboy Lord Goring (suave Rupert Everett) to save him, however womanizing the plot is.Directed by Oliver Parker (also for THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST lately), this film remains the most impressive and unforgettable big screen play of Wilde's albeit the famous "bracelet scene" is dismissed (to quote a note from reviewer Anna-Pearce).
I was truly shocked at just how bad this re-issue looks! Mushy, washed out color and ALL of the action on screen including even the camera pans were completely lacking in fluidity. Motion archives from beginning to end. Nearly unwatchable! Mind you, this was not the fault of my player as it was tested in several units. Shame on you Echo Bridge for this horrible transfer of an otherwise excellent film! I would warn everyone to stay clear of this re-issue, and seek out the original Miramax release from 2000. Even the cover art of the original release is far superior to this sloppy mess.
This review is from: An Ideal Husband (DVD) quite boring. this actor, Rupert Evert, was a hit in "my best friend's wedding" but didi nothing for me in ths movie.
Just as he did in "My Best Friend's Wedding" with Julia Roberts, RupertEverett again steals the show in this lovely comedy/romance. The film isworth seeing if only to enjoy the charms of Rupert.The clever dialogue by Oscar Wilde is a delight and the commentary on thefoibles of we humans is as current today as it was in Wilde's day. All inall, a lovely story which anyone should surely enjoy.