Sexy leading man Rupert Everett heads an acclaimed all-star cast in this wonderfully witty story of decadence, romance, and scandal! Sir Robert is a highly respected politician whose spotless reputation is the pride of his... more » beautiful wife (Cate Blanchett ) and adoring sister (Minnie Driver). But when an old acquaintance (Julianne Moore) threatens to reveal a dark secret from Robert's past, only his womanizing party-loving best friend Goring (Everett) is scheming and dishonest enough to come to his aid.« less
Mary L. (marymix) from NANTUCKET, MA Reviewed on 6/26/2010...
Delightful! "An Ideal Husband" is an ideal movie. Wonderfully acted period movie with a plot full of romance and twists and turns, but love conquers all in the end. Witty dialogue with laugh out loud moments. I truly enjoyed this film. Appropriate for all but the most prudish despite the official content advisory for brief nudity & sexual situations.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Everybody has flaws
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 05/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""An Ideal Husband," while not entirely faithful to the Oscar Wilde play of the same name, is an enjoyable period film with plenty of snappy dialogue, first-rate actors and gorgeous costumes and set pieces.Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam) seems to have it all -- a flourishing career in Parliament, his beautiful and perfect wife Lady Gertrude (Cate Blanchett), and the universal respect given to a man with a perfect reputation. He has a vivacious sister (Minnie Driver) and is pals with a charming, womanizing, ironic and very bored playboy, Lord Goring (Rupert Everett).But when a certain Mrs. Cheveley arrives in London from Vienna, things take a sudden turn for the worst. Charming and cultured, she's also devious and cold-blooded. And worst of all, she has Robert's dirty little secret, a financial scam from years ago. She'll give him the proof of his misdeed, but only if he sacrifices his principles and supports the Suez Canal motion. Otherwise, she'll make the letter public and wreck his marriage and his career. It's up to Lord Goring to get his pal out of trouble..."An Ideal Husband" is an enjoyable and witty play, with a plot that twists right up to the final scenes and a genuinely romantic subplot. (As an extra bonus, we see the characters watching the play "Importance of Being Earnest" -- another Wilde play) The study of morality, payback for one's sins, and the power of words is much more interesting than the typical period-dress drama.The script is quite well-written, well-paced except for a few exceptions. In one early scene Everett rattles off a few witty phrases; the problem is that they feel strung together and flung out just to prove "See? This is a witty, ironic movie!". Oscar Wilde's witticisms should not be delivered in a monotone. The costumes are exquisite, simply gorgeous, but thankfully never overwhelm the actors. Cate Blanchett's gowns in particular are beautifully-made. The interiors, furniture and costumes are all very detailed in the manner of "Age of Innocence."Jeremy Northam is quite good as Robert, a guy torn between self-preservation and his own scruples; Cate Blanchett is outstanding, giving her character evident flaws while making her entirely, completely sympathetic. Rupert Everett has some flat moments, especially near the beginning (he also has zero chemistry with Driver), but overall is acceptable as a clever playboy whose ambition is to accomplish nothing at all. Julianne Moore is excellent as well, making Mrs. Chevely utterly slimy and charming. Minnie Driver is a problem, though. She seems to be completely befuddled by her historical dialogue (her witty lines fall completely flat and none of them seem natural, like Blanchett's are) and moves like a too-quick puppet.No person is perfect, and the movie isn't either. But Blanchett, Moore and Northam are excellent and the movie is a visual feast. A pleasant diversion."
Witty Dialogue, Great Acting Ensemble
Courtney | Florida | 01/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're as tired as I am with the Action/Special effects explosion in Hollywood, An Ideal Husband will prove to boost your low opinion of the film industry. Beautifully cast, written, and directed, it's no wonder why it's been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. The first of course, going to the actor, Rupert Everett. He delivers his lines with such an aire and grace of an English gentleman and takes such care to wrap each word in a delightful sarcastic tone-- which fits his character perfectly. Although he is, in some ways, considered a nasty man of arrogance, Everett's charm shines through and draws the viewer into his oh so romantic embrace. The rest of the cast is equally entertaining--mostly because they mesh so well together. The period costumes and cinematography are also important to note. The movement from scene to scene, the juxtaposition of the placement of the characters in the scenes are particularly amusing to watch. Enough is enough already. If you don't mind watching "period" films, this is a breath of fresh air to the genre."
RUN, DON'T WALK, FOR THE VHS/DVD OF THIS FILM!...
Elaine J. Campbell | Rancho Mirage, CA United States | 07/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One may wish to watch this movie many times, for there are witticisms galore, so much so that one can hardly keep up with them. While laughing at one, another takes place, and so on. The dialogue is glittering.This is the greatest production of an Oscar Wilde play I have ever seen, and leaves me on pins and needles waiting for the release later this year of The Importance of Being Earnest because it also stars an actor who seems born to perform in Wilde's plays/movies: Rupert Everett.The performances: wonderful all. Rupert Everett's work nears the genius level. Jeremy Northam as a not-so-perfect parliamentarian is great. John Wood as his father stands out. And there are the ever-so-essential ladies: Cate Blanchett as Northam's wife (would you believe she is Australian?), who believes she has a perfect husband. Julianne Moore as one of the most charmingly wicked women ever to grace the screen (would you believe she is from North Carolina?), and the very strong presence of Minnie Driver (yes, she actually is from England). All together, they create an effervescent champagne of a film.The perfect find out they are not so perfect. The expecters of perfection find out they themselves are also not so perfect. Love finally lowers its standards to include the imperfection of the beloved. Even the loser at evildoing turns out to have an unexpected side to her. This is the film's theme. The actors and the director of this film, however, ironically bring this film close to, if not at, the peak of perfection.The final scene is an ode to joy. Watch it and have fun!"
A Serene Feast
Neil Turner | Annapolis, Maryland | 01/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An Ideal Husband is a serene feast of exquisite language and subtle intrigues. This comedy of manners by Oscar Wilde has been given its just due in the production starring Rupert Everett, Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett, Minnie Driver, and Jeremy Northam. All of these actors are excellent in their parts, but Moore and Everett stand out in their roles of the evil blackmailer with the heart of gold and the shallow ne'er-do-well whose crafty brilliance saves the day. It would also be an injustice to write about the film without mentioning John Wood who plays Everett's exasperated father. One might say that his performance is "over the top," but that is exactly what is needed for the part. The film starts very slowly, so you must have patience in order to be rewarded. I do not normally suggest that the special features be viewed before watching the film, but some might be helped in their appreciation of the film by viewing the featurette included on the DVD for it serves as a worthy preface for the film. It is an irony of history that, at the time of writing this play, Wilde was on his way to his trial for being a homosexual and offending some of the "manners" he so expertly barbed. Wilde understood our need to comply with the "rules" of society, and his insights are just as applicable in today's times. Enjoy the film as a look at history and as a reminder that social attitudes continue to exert considerable influence upon human behavior."
A reader | Indianapolis, IN | 02/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film first in the theater, and I chuckled to myself at intervals for days afterward. The witty dialogue and subtle thrusts in this film make it a joy for anyone who is frankly sick to death of slapstick humor and drawn-out car chases.The most delightful aspect of the movie is its timelessness. It was written in 1899, but the plot of political intrigue, power-grubbing, and a rare, conscientious politician is just as apt today as it was when it was penned. The light-hearted love story that's intertwined is just a bonus."