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Awesome: 16.98%
Worth A Look58.49%
Just Average: 20.75%
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Sucks: 1.89%

4 reviews, 29 user ratings

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Ideal Husband, An
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by Vibeseeker

"A wicked and irresistible film."
4 stars

If period pieces are to be continually churned out, you can do a lot worse than adapting Oscar Wilde. An Ideal Husband is far from a stiff period drama; its majestic cast portrays what is a pretty ideal adaptation of this often-underrated play. The play may be over 100 years old, but Wilde's sense of panache and wit would be very welcomed in today's society.

The plot revolves around politician and bastion of honesty, Sir Robert Chiltern (Northam), who once sold a Cabinet secret to the representative of a foreign power. Worshipped by his wife (Blanchett), whose high moral virtue would have prevented her marrying him in the first place if only she had known of his earlier dealings. Enter one scheming Mrs. Cheveley (Moore), anxious for Chiltern to promote a dubious enterprise, and threatening to expose him unless he helps to get the scheme through the House of Commons. Stuck in the middle of all of these dealings is the epitome of chivalry, Lord Goring (Everett). He's the best friend of Robert Chiltern, confidante to Chiltern's wife, romantic suitor to his sister, and potential third husband to the enemy, Mrs. Cheveley. Cue fun and games.

The cast deftly meets Wilde's mechanisms and witticisms - "To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance". Everett distinguishes his pivotal outsider role, Blanchett is luminous with her feline grace, but it is the unsung Julianne Moore who steals the spotlight with an outstanding performance, distilling the script's genteel acidic wit to viperous effect.

Parker (Othello) directs with restraint, his camera often staying fixed, alluding a theatre-esque quality, which allows the script and performances to hold court. The play's plot and characters were always a little contrived and even farcical, with the one-track virtue of Getrude Chiltern (Blanchett), and the impressionable apple blossom type of Mabel Chiltern played to form by Minnie Driver.

But the performances animate the play, producing a wicked and irresistible film. You'd be hard pressed to find a more entertaining period piece. ---David Michael

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1582&reviewer=251
originally posted: 10/13/99 22:35:36
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User Comments

7/28/09 the dork knight A lot funnier than most period films (Everett is in almost every scene, that helps) 5 stars
6/18/06 chienne Hopefully a revival of Wilde, wonderful, uppercrust Poms at their snobby best 4 stars
9/23/03 JC Wilde isn't rolling in his grave, but this adaptation probably wouldn't make him happy. 5 stars
9/01/03 Valerie I absolutly adored the move, its the kind to watch when you want a silly romance. 5 stars
4/17/03 Shadaan Felfeli Very British, Very Nice. 4 stars
8/26/02 Christopher Wonderful script and acting. Great cast. 4 stars
6/08/02 Teresa Worth seeing if you like English period flicks like I do. 4 stars
3/31/02 Marcia Lartz Generally good cast wasted in this bore. 2 stars
1/01/02 Paco Not as good as expected, Rupert Everett is wonderful 3 stars
3/14/01 Richard Wright Sorta good, with fine acting and a witty script full of twists. Not much else to say... 4 stars
12/25/99 elfpunkt not too shabby.. 4 stars
11/29/99 Mic Wilde is excellent. Is he going to get a film revival like Shakespeare? 4 stars
11/15/99 gnomical any director that loves oscar wilde's work the way i do has my vote. 4 stars
11/12/99 hai le what is the most ethical major isue of this movie 4 stars
10/19/99 Trish Clever, funny 5 stars
10/12/99 Duck Pretty good 3 stars
10/04/99 Joel Harwood Funny Funny Funny Oscar Oscar Oscar 5 stars
7/30/99 Cage Not as bad as I had expected. Just average. 3 stars
7/26/99 Suzanne Intelligent AND funny - what a rare combination. 5 stars
7/22/99 Suzz a lot of fun. Enjoyed it. 4 stars
7/20/99 Heather To love this movie is the start of a lifelong relationship with dry, witty period pieces 5 stars
7/09/99 Sally Clever, wonderfully dry humor. Rich cast. 5 stars
7/06/99 Brian M charming old fashioned humor, how refreshing & Rupert Rulez! 4 stars
7/02/99 Costars Elegant, fun & charming with one casting mistake 4 stars
6/30/99 Lisa witty, funny, Cate and Rupert are excellent in this wonderfully adapted Wilde play 5 stars
6/30/99 nobody yawn 1 stars
6/29/99 fkondor OK if you like to watch the boom mike bobbing above the actors' heads constantly 3 stars
6/28/99 Malbert It was cute-Rupert Everett&Julianne Moore were great 4 stars
6/18/99 Mr Showbiz Lightweight and clumsy, it gets by on the spirited performance of Cate Blanchett. 3 stars
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  18-Jun-1999 (PG-13)


  14-Oct-1999 (M)

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