Movie Review 2007 #124: An Ideal Husband

A little gem of a movie, starring Rupert Everett, Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett and Minnie Driver

Based on an Oscar Wilde story (and in a clever bit of meta work, there is even a brief shot of a production of Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest), An Ideal Husband revolves around the life of lackabout Lord Goring. His life of idleness is due to end due to the machinations of his old flame Mrs Cheveley (a wicked Julianne Moore), who has a scheme against Goring’s friend Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam), a rising political star, married to Cate Blanchett’s Gertrude.
Add in decadence, wit, humor and even romance, and the mix of actors and actresses is a effusive and interesting one. The actual plot takes a backseat in reveling in life during “The Season”, as Minnie Driver’s Mabel, sister to Robert, fends off unwanted marriage proposals, and whispers of scandal enliven any party or gathering.
The cinematography does well to show late 19th century England, as well as giving room for the actors to do their thing. Julianne’s Moore depiction of her character was a motivation in me casting her as my Fiona in Strange Bedfellows. The other players do very well, too.
A friend turned me onto this movie, and I am very glad that she did.