The Importance of Being Earnest 2002

Amazon Instant Video

(64) IMDb 6.9/10
Available in HD

In 1890s London rakish Algy runs into friend Jack who's in town to propose to Algy's cousin Gwendolen. Algy discovers Jack has a brother 'Ernest' and a ward called Cecily. While Jack deals with Gwendolen's mother, Algy tries to meet Cecily. Hilarity ensues when both arrive in the country posing as 'Ernest'!

Starring:
Colin Firth, Rupert Everett
Runtime:
1 hour 33 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices

The Importance of Being Earnest

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Comedy
Director Oliver Parker
Starring Colin Firth, Rupert Everett
Supporting actors Reese Witherspoon, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Anna Massey, Edward Fox
Studio StudioCanal
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Reader on 9 Jan 2005
Format: DVD
Wilde's fantastic play could have not asked for a better adaptation than this. The characters have a fantastic chemisty on screen and fit into their own personal roles wonderfully. Firth and Everett are the perfect orphan boy and playboy turned earnest. I don't image many will be unfamiliar with the plot but here's a quick summary:
Firth plays Jack, who lives in the country and heads to the city under the name of Earnst. Everett plays Algernon who lives in the town but heads out to the country under the name of earnst. Why? Well, Jack is in love with Lady bracknell's daughter who dreams of marrying a man named earnest. Algernon inteneds to marry Jack's ward, Cecily, by going to Jack's house (while Jack is in town) posing as Jack's fictitious brother Earnst. (Jack say's to his country folk he's off to town to visit his brother earnst) Cecily also wants to marry a man named earnst. Confused yet...I am!!
Annnyyyway, Jack comes back from town only to find Algernon flirting with Cecily and pretending to be jack's fake brother. Jack is astonished but doesn't blow his cover because Algie knows he's pretending his name is also earnst so he can marry Gwendoline Bracknell (algie's cousin). And so ensues a hilarious tale of thse two men attempting to explain who they really are and what they're up to to their adoring fiances.
As is expected of Wilde, this story is full of quirky one liners;
"Are your parents living?"
"My parents are both dead."
"To lose one parent in unfortunate. To lose two could be considered careless."
The cast are excellent so I honestly can't say who my favourite is. Jst know that this adaptation is first class and a bargain at the price being offered. Enjoy.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By KJ on 1 Oct 2010
Format: DVD
I've already discovered that people don't vote on reviews because of their content but on whether or not they tally with their own views so I will expect to see 'not helpful' votes pile up but here goes anyway.

If you're looking for a mildly entertaining bit of froth with generally good actors you will probably enjoy this. What you will NOT see is Oscar Wilde's 'Ernest'. Nowhere that I can see does it say that this is heavily adapted from the play but it is, there are too many changes to the script to quote them all but, to site the worst aberation, the fact that Jack is referred to as Algenon's YOUNGER (not older as Willde wrote it) brother towards the end makes the whole premise of the plot nonsense. OK, Algie's played as a bit of an ibecile but surely he would have known he once had a brother around the house so why should it come as such a surprise?

If you want to see a somewhat dated but beautifully played version of the original get the old Redgrave/Dennison/Evans DVD. I bought this as a Judi Dench completist (sic) and funny as her performance undoubtedly is, Edith Evans simply IS Lady Bracknell.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Nov 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This updated version of an old classic tries too hard to better Wilde's own impeccable script by trying to appeal to more modern tastes. Its modifications, such as Gwendolyn's car & tattoo, Algie's jazz playing and running from the law, give the whole story a less credible air. It's not so much that the film has been updated, more mixed-dated, and the laughs seem cheap; too much has been taken from the imagination and dialogue through the excesses on screen.

However, although Colin Firth and Rupert Everett may seem too old, they feasibly carry off their roles. Dame Judy has the unenviable task of delivering lines immortalised by Dame Edith Evans; her reinterpretation is creative and appropriate, although the playful smile at the corner of her mouth somewhat reduced her traditional authority.

The film was enjoyable, but it's earnestly flippant direction prevented it from being the hillarious comedy of manners of Wildes' original play
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 July 2012
Format: Blu-ray
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2012 BLU RAY REISSUE ***

As a long-time reviewer and fan of this new format - I am constantly yo-yoing between praise for BLU RAY reissues and damning them. Some films are massively enhanced by the format's capacity to show more - others are either made worse by it - or have suffered at the hands of a lazy and sloppy transfer.

Well I'm pleased to say that "The Importance Of Being Earnest" is in the former - because the print on this 2012 BLU RAY reissue is TRULY GORGEOUS - shockingly so even.

Set in 1890's British upper-class society - "The Importance Of Being Earnest" was a lavish 2002 Ealing Studios/Miramax production - so the BLU RAY should shine when it comes to 'detail' - and that's indeed what you get. Dandy clothing, ladies refinery, interiors of men's clubs, alleyways in London, carriages to the country, Stately homes and their gardens, cucumber sandwiches and tea on the lawn, vicars and language tutors - it all looks beautiful.

Throw in Wilde's clever jabbing at society and a cast thoroughly enjoying themselves with witty material (especially Rupert Everett as the good-for-nothing Algernon Moncrieff and Judi Dench as the matriarchal Lady Augusta) - and you're on a reissue winner. Americans Reese Witherspoon and Frances O'Connor show a deftness of touch too, while Colin Firth is as effortlessly charming as ever. I also particularly like Tom Wilkinson and Anna Massey as the elderly couple whose courtship goes unexpressed but is so deeply touching. And Edward Fox as Lane - Algernon's old butler - constantly evading Algernon's need for praise (dialogue above) with wily replies...shutting Algernon up by mentioning vulgar things like 'wages'...
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