An Ideal Husband
Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful Government minister, well-off and with a loving wife. All this is threatened when Mrs Cheveley appears in London with damning evidence of a past misdeed. Sir Robert turns for help to his friend Lord Goring, an apparently idle philanderer and the despair of his father. Goring knows the lady of old, and, for him, takes the whole thing pretty seriously.
Plot Keywords: flirting / social-satire / blackmail / victorian-england / victorian-era
Taglines: He just doesn’t know it yet.
Certificate: Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Finland:S | France:Tous publics | Germany:0 | Iceland:L | New Zealand:PG | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:Btl | Switzerland:7 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:7 (canton of Vaud) | United Kingdom:PG | United States:PG-13
Cast: Peter Vaughan , Rupert Everett , Minnie Driver , Cate Blanchett , Ben Pullen , Marsha Fitzalan , Julianne Moore , Lindsay Duncan , Neville Phillips , John Wood , Jeremy Northam , Nickolas Grace , Simon Russell Beale , Anna Patrick , Delia Lindsay , Denise Stephenson , Charles Edwards , Nancy Carroll , Andy Harrison , Jill Balcon , Janet Henfrey , Toby Robertson , Michael Culkin , Oliver Parker , Doug Bradley , Stephen May , Jeroen Krabbé , Susannah Wise , Peter Parker , Oliver Ford Davies , Neil Mendoza , John Thompson , Clayton Duddy , Craig Shaw , Anthony Maddalena , Tim Packham
Company: Arts Council of England
Country: United Kingdom , France , United States
Released Date: 16 Apr 1999 (UK)
Film Location: London, England, UK
Runtime: 97 min
Soundmix: Dolby Digital
Color: Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
FlickJunkie-2 » To say that this film is a filmmaking tour de force would be a great injustice. It is far better than that. Oliver Parker's revitalizing of Oscar Wilde's classic play is filmmaking at its finest.
Every element of this film is superlative. Wilde's story as adapted to the screen by Parker is witty, intelligent and engaging from start to finish. Seldom can you find a story that attempts to be a romantic comedy, a tale of duplicity blackmail and betrayal, and a drama of political intrigue, and succeeds so well on all counts.
The intricate weave of deception, manipulation and double entendre along with comic misperception, irony and rapier witted dialogue are delicious and classic Wilde. This is a film you will want to see again and again, just to discover all the lines within the lines.
I cannot say enough about the brilliance of Oliver Parker's direction in this film. He has captured late 19th Century aristocratic England with vivid and rich images that put the viewer right into the period. David Johnson's cinematography is fantastic, with every scene working well as to lighting and color. The beautiful blend of colors in the costumes and the set always looked like they belonged together. Parker also provides numerous interesting camera angles that help dramatize the scenes. It serves to remind us that glorious films can still be made relying on the creative eye of the director rather than special effects.
The acting was delightful. Rupert Everett, as the self absorbed Lord Arthur Goring, delivers an exquisite performance as the unscrupulous rogue upon whom the mantle of truth and honor is laid.
Julianne Moore was delightful as the evil and cunning Mrs. Cheveley. As cold, manipulative and heartless as she is with Chiltern and Lady Chiltern, she is that vulnerable and helpless with Lord Goring, for whom she has long held a flame. Moore handles this emotional juggling act with great skill and you find yourself simultaneously loving her ingeniousness and hating her treachery.
Cate Blanchett turns in another wonderful performance as the oh-so-perfect, Lady Gertrud Chiltern. Jeremy Northam is also excellent as Robert Chiltern, the man of untouchable character with a scandalous secret in his past. Even Minnie Driver is charming as Robert's sister.
This is a terrific film for the refined viewer who appreciates all aspects of filmmaking. Even for those not into the art of filmmaking, it is simply great entertainment. I can think of no negative criticism of it. It is well written, directed, photographed and acted. It is filmmaking the way it was meant to be. A perfect 10.
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