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Fall 2010 Movie Discussions > October 15-- The Importance of Being Earnest

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message 1: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
This thread is for our two-week discussion of the 2002 adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, starring Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, and Judi Dench. Have fun!


message 2: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I saw this movie last week, and I thought it was totally hilarious, Oscar Wilde is quite the wit. It is almost parallel to the Prince and the Pauper. Colin Earnest character and the Rupert guy were hilarious. Reese and Frances O'Connor gave great performances also. Dame Judi Dench was superb as the mother of Frances O'Connor's character. Colin and the other guy were funny fighting over the two girls in the movie. A nice movie.


message 3: by Megan (new)

Megan I just re-watched this. I thought it was very funny and I loved the costumes. Dame Judi was so good as Aunt Augusta ("A handbag??")and the "Earnest"s were so inept at covering their tracks and maintaining their stories.

The original play was first performed in 1895 and was set "in the present." I think it interesting the movie nudged it ahead a bit so Gwendolyn could drive her car out to the country.


message 4: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Yes, I loved that part in the movie with the car sputtering, it was funny. The antics of Ernest/Jack and Argy/Moncrief were just hilarious to watch, esp. at the end of the movie Rupert Everett and Colin Firth are still singing Lady Come Down, and it must have been part of an outtake, they played well off one another. I liked the "dream sequence" when Cecily was daydreaming of her knight in shining armor. Ms. Prism was great too.


message 5: by Amalie (last edited Oct 19, 2010 01:34AM) (new)

Amalie Ah everyone! I watched this and yes, it's pretty hilarious and great performances. But not Oscar Wilde. (I'll try not to make this a habit: comparing the book with the movie ;) )

May be it's just impossible to "translate" the play for the contemporary film since a satire of today's audiences and today's society would require an entirely different set of rapiers.


message 6: by Kathryn (last edited Oct 20, 2010 11:27AM) (new)

Kathryn | 98 comments I love this movie! It's one of my favorites!!! I think everyone does a wonderful job with the production, it's so funny and thoughtful and just a delight. It's been awhile since I read the play but I remember some parts are quite accurate in the movie but there are also liberties taken with the film. (I think, especially, regarding the real name at the very end!) If any of you have suggestions for other films like this, I'd love to hear them (Wilde or other). I saw "Ideal Husband" and didn't like it quite as much.


message 7: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina UGH - I can't find this movie in a library. . . . I'm still looking though, it sounds fun.


message 8: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) In one of the other posts someone mentioned Netflix, Sabrina, if you want to use that service you can.


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan | 106 comments You know, I am not quite sure how I feel about this movie. I definitely enjoyed it, but having seen the play at least a couple of times, I was a little disappointed. I can't put my finger on it, but I think it may have been a little slow moving in film form. The play seems to put more emphasis on quick-moving wit. But, it is hard to have a bad time with a movie that stars Colin Firth!


message 10: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) It seemed that way in reading the play. Alot more words get bandied about, and it is funny that the movie just showed bits and pieces of it, the play told you what every reference was about, if you are unfamiliar with English sayings, or manners.


message 11: by Rachel, The Honorable Miss Moderator (new)

Rachel (randhrshipper1) | 674 comments Mod
I'm glad you all seem to have liked this film overall--I did, too. The humor was a type I like and the actors were all appealing to me. Especially Colin, of course! And the period production values are my style too! I love the way Cecily's imaginings look like Burne-Jones paintings and the bit with the tatoo is funny. Onto our Halloween Mini Movie Fest!


message 12: by Megan (new)

Megan Rachel wrote: "I'm glad you all seem to have liked this film overall--I did, too. The humor was a type I like and the actors were all appealing to me. Especially Colin, of course! And the period production values..."

Cecily's fantasties were definitely a highlight.


message 13: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Yes, those moments were very funny.


message 14: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
I enjoyed this movie too. It is one of my favorites. I have never seen it performed on stage and would like to, but I can understand if stage fans thought it wasn't quite the same. I think many films do slow it down a bit. It offered performances of at least three of my favorite film stars (Firth, Everett & Dench), who are themselves are worth the price of admission!

I actually walk around quoting this movie all the time...."if we miss any more trains.. we will expose ourselves to comment on the platform (Aunt Augusta of course). "Prism, where's that baby?!!"

I always love Aunt Augusta's interview with Jack. He seems to answer wrongly, but those are the answers she likes. The whole movie is filled with stuff like that.

I know the last segments of the movie are staged all differently for the film, but I did love how it was done -- hopefully Wilde would get a laugh out of it himself. Although different, I like that it does still have a "staged" effect for movie viewers to take in. That was a beautiful country location, wherever it was.


message 15: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Yes the cinematography was breathtaking. I like Aunt Augusta as well saying Prism, where's that baby? The part that is too funny for words is Colin girl, who is driving that old Model A or T, and it is chugging away, and it is so funny.


message 16: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer | 111 comments I thought it was a really dreadful film. Completely messed up the plot by having it take place over a long period instead of it just being the one afternoon. And all those bizarre things like Gwendolen getting a tattoo - what on earth was that all about? The michaeld Redgrave/Edith evans version was so much better.


message 17: by victoria_tonks (last edited Jul 11, 2017 11:26AM) (new)

victoria_tonks | 15 comments I saw this film once and have never felt tempted to watch it again. I am not a fan of Everett, and I think he and Firth were too old for the role. Judi Dench was fantastic, though, and I also enjoyed Miss Prism and Dr Chasuble.


message 18: by Tina (last edited Jul 11, 2017 10:20AM) (new)

Tina (tinacz) | 55 comments Caught this version a few years back. I loved it but then with Judi and Colin how and the others, how could it miss. Will have to watch this one again.


message 19: by Tina (new)

Tina (tinacz) | 55 comments Rachel wrote: "This thread is for our two-week discussion of the 2002 adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, starring Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, and Judi Dench. Have fun!"

Must catch this version again. A long lost favorite is the early adaptations which are rare and hard to find. Still, the Firth adaptation is great with Dench doing a phenom job in her role.


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