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Home / Film Reviews / "An Ideal Husband"

"An Ideal Husband"

   

Director: Oliver Parker
Actors: Cate Blanchette, Minnie Driver, Juliette Moore, Jeremy Northam
Rating: Rated PG-13

The world of Oscar Wilde would hardly seem fit for use as a plot device aimed at movie goers of the 1990s but the new movie "An Ideal Husband," turns out to be a very pleasant and diverting way to escape the summerís heat and, at the same time, find out just what made Wildeís plays so popular. And the answer to their continued success is the dialogue! Where else--except in an occasional play by David Mamet--will you find such great lines like: "To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance," or "I love to talk about nothing; itís the only thing I know anything about."

And where else would the potential threat of a public trial, a trial that would expose political dealings and behind-the-scenes blackmail, be the hinge pin of the plot? Certainly not in todayís America, where the antics of most politicians so obviously pandering to a bored public, that even scandals of what would be earth-shaking proportions 100 years ago, today hardly make a ripple on the scene.

So enter a world where most politicians live in Belgravia apartments, stuffed with the best of Victorian and Edwardian design, and watch truly beautiful people cope with the horrors of the day. Oliver Parker has filmed (and re-written) a time machine that takes us back, maybe not to a better time, but certainly one with more beauty and more interest.

"An Ideal Husband" Begins with a formal reception, where a dashing lord (played with dash by Jeremy Northam) is accosted by a quite beautiful Mrs. Cheveley (played with beauty by Julianne Moore), about a possible scandal revolving around variations on the Suez Canal. And itís all pure entertainment from there.