|Miramax Films | Release Date: May 22, 2002||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Director Oliver Parker (An Ideal Husband) -- who also adapted the screenplay to include aspects from Wilde's unrevised four-act version of the play -- embraces the material with great gusto, delivering as charming and irresistible a film as one could demand.
The film seems content with the more modest ambitions of a romantic comedy, albeit one with unusually potent wit and intricate construction. The old Ealing could never have afforded Parker's deluxe treatment of the material; the new Ealing seems to have forgotten the benefits of economy. Read full review
Written to skewer the upper class of its time, the script is now just a broad joke-fest, clever lines batted back and forth like badminton shuttlecocks.
Amounts to a complete misreading of Wilde, who used the conventions of artifice to lampoon artificiality. Parker totally misses the point by tacking on such cinematic curlicues -- apparently, in his eagerness to seem movie-friendly, he's too hung up on the importance of not being earnest. Read full review
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