Combustible Celluloid
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With: Rupert Everett, Julianne Moore, Jeremy Northam, Cate Blanchett, Minnie Driver, John Wood, Lindsay Duncan, Peter Vaughan
Written by: Oliver Parker, based on a play by Oscar Wilde
Directed by: Oliver Parker
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief sensuality/nudity
Running Time: 97
Date: 04/16/1999

An Ideal Husband (1999)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Wilde Things

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

After The Winslow Boy and A Midsummer Night's Dream, this is the third recent movie based on an older play. Writer/director Oliver Parker (1995's Othello) does an admirable job of adapting Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband to the screen. To accomplish this, he cuts large chunks of dialogue, ties together plot devices, and even writes new scenes. The cast: Rupert Everett, Jeremy Northam, Minnie Driver, Cate Blanchett, and Julianne Moore, are all outstanding, but only Everett really gets under the skin of the play. Certain stretches truly sparkle, but the movie is not as inventive as The Winslow Boy, nor as relaxed and goofy as Midsummer. Instead, it occupies some respectable middle ground.

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