Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Importance of Being Earnest 2002-Oscar Wilde and Colin Firth!

The Importance of Being Earnest 2002
Well, as I continue my happy journey through the favorites of my DVD collection, The Importance of Being Earnest jumped into my hands. There are times when you need something funny, light, gorgeous to look at and with just a hint of biting satire for tang and this one really fits the bill.

Frances O'Connor, Colin Firth, Rupert Everett and Reese Witherspoon in The Importance of Being Earnest
Arguably Oscar Wilde's greatest play, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is mostly romping farce but has, of course, some social commentary at it's core. This makes it perfect for the screen and director Oliver Parker does a wonderful job adapting it. Visually stunning and with a musical score which helps the romping pace of this film, you will laugh and totally lose yourself. The story centres on the two couples above, Frances O'Connor is luminous and Colin Firth even gets to sing in this. He has a rather funny reedy little voice, which you have likely heard in Mama Mia but here he gets to accompany himself on a ukulele which again adds some comedy (or was it a guitar?-oh, goody, I have to watch it again!).

Rupert Everett and Colin Firth in The Importance of Being Earnest
Rupert Everett and Colin Firth have worked together before, very early in their careers in  Another Country from 1984 and you can tell that they enjoy each other's company. As friends (or are they brothers?) the banter is as wonderful as those suits they are wearing.

Reese Witherspoon and Rupert Everett in The Importance of Being Earnest
Reese Witherspoon shows that she is not just another pretty face by holding her own amongst these greats of the British screen. She is refreshing and sweet and really gets the joke.

Rupert Everett, Judi Dench and Reese Witherspoon in The Importance of Being Earnest
Judi Dench is just the icing on the cake as Lady Bracknell, whipping off the wonderful lines like the pro she is.

Lady Bracknell: To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness. ***********************************************************************************
Jack: I don't actually know who I am by birth. I was... well, I was found.
Lady Bracknell: Found?
Jack: Yes. The late Mr. Thomas Cardew, an old gentlemen of a kindly disposition found me and gave me the name of Worthing because he happened to have a first class ticket to Worthing at the time. Worthing is a place in Sussex. It's a seaside resort.
Lady Bracknell: And where did this charitable gentlemen with the first class ticket to the seaside resort find you?
Jack: In a handbag.
Lady Bracknell: [closes eyes briefly] A handbag?
Jack: Yes, Lady Bracknell, I was in a hand bag. A somewhat large... black... leather handbag with handles... to it.
Lady Bracknell: An ordinary handbag.
Lady Bracknell: And where did this Mr. James... or, Thomas Cardew come across this ordinary handbag?
Jack: The cloak room at Victoria Station. It was given to him in mistake for his own...
Lady Bracknell: [Shocked] The cloak room at Victoria Station?
Jack: Yes. The Brighton line.
Lady Bracknell: The line is immaterial.
[begins tearing up notes]
Lady Bracknell: Mr. Worthing. I must confess that I feel somewhat bewildered by what you have just told me. To be born, or at any rate bred in a handbag, whether it have handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life which reminds one of the worst excesses of the French revolution, and I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to?
So again, if you haven't seen this one, it is an easy recommendation for me to make. If you have seen it, then you may want to pull it out for another viewing as I have done quite happily.

Enjoy the weekend my friends and I hope this made you smile!!!


  1. I love this movie! When they sing at the end, I can't help but have a good, hard laugh. I love Rupert, these two are so charming together. It was nice to see Frances O'Connor in something funny after seeing her in "Mansfield Park." It's funny that you post about "The Importance of Being Earnest," as I just bought a copy of the play at a library book sale this past Monday.
    PS. Upon your recommendation, I purchased a copy of "Bleak House" yesterday, it has the original illustrations in it. I'm going to save it for the fall to read, though.

  2. Hi ladytoesocks,

    I knew I would find someone who loves this one as much as I do! What a great idea to pick up a copy of the play. The lines are just so wonderful aren't they?

    Good idea to put Bleak House aside for the fall. It is a doorstop of a book. And don't feel guilty for skimming parts of it. Dickens is wonderful but he wanders sometimes. It would be great to re-watch the miniseries in the fall at the same time you are reading the book. They really complement each other!

  3. I'm sure you've already seen it, but An Ideal Husband is also wonderful! I'm off to see if the Importance of Being Earnest is streaming on Netflix!

  4. An Ideal Husband is a great flick! I was considering doing a post about it right after Earnest and it is another wonderful Oliver Parker adaptation! I have to admit though, Earnest is my fave Oscar Wilde!

  5. Hello! I'd just like to say that I also LOVE The Importance of Being Earnest. My little Advanced English class at school (i'm one of three) who are working on Oscar Wilde and we're doing Earnest, An Ideal Husband and Lady Windemere's Fan (most likely spelled that wrong). It has to be THE most enjoyable play we've done to date even though we sometimes end up talking for hours (I'm playing both Algernon and Cecily so i ended up talking for most of act 2). We've just started watching this movie version on youtube and so far we're loving it :P
    Thank goodness for Wilde and his witty banter! :)

  6. Sounds like a fun little class Rhiannon! Glad you love both the play and the film. I think Oscar Wilde would be pleased that he is still making us laugh so many years later.




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