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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning location, sound acting, good storyline
A Good Woman is a beautiful period film, full of beautiful people in beautiful locations, but with an added depth to it - the result of its intriguing storyline, which is based on Oscar Wilde's play Lady Windermere's Fan. Helen Hunt plays a supposedly amoral middle-aged man-hunter who seemingly heads off to Italy to bag her latest catch, with the emphasis very much on...
Published on 29 Nov. 2009 by Hemlock Brew

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe would have worked better as a TV series
I found this a bit of a "meh" film. Watchable enough, but nothing to really grab you. Fairly slow moving, and that's mostly because not really much happened.

In many ways it felt a bit like a TV drama, or soap even, where different characters' lives crossed paths with each other, and I was kind of left with a felling that if you'd got to know the characters a...
Published on 19 Oct. 2007 by Lukens


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning location, sound acting, good storyline, 29 Nov. 2009
This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
A Good Woman is a beautiful period film, full of beautiful people in beautiful locations, but with an added depth to it - the result of its intriguing storyline, which is based on Oscar Wilde's play Lady Windermere's Fan. Helen Hunt plays a supposedly amoral middle-aged man-hunter who seemingly heads off to Italy to bag her latest catch, with the emphasis very much on "supposedly" and "seemingly". She is superb in this role, even though I had doubts about her ability to play a period character before seeing the film, having previously only seen her in films such as Paying It Forward and As Good As It Gets. Scarlett Johansson too does a fantastic job playing Meg Windermere, a woman as beautiful as she is insecure. Most impressive of all in this film, however, is Mark Umbers, an actor I hadn't come across before. Playing Robert Windermere, he displays all the suave sophistication one would associate with a member of his class at the time, but at the same time is extremely likeable due to his total infatuation with his wife. The one problem I had with film was that the dialogues were a little bit too clever at times and therefore came over as unreal, but when a film is based on an Oscar Wilde play, I guess this is an unresolveable problem, as if you change the dialogue too much, the association with Wilde is lost. Moreover, maybe people prior to the age of television and the Internet were far more witty and clever than they are today. Watch out for the scene with Helen Hunt and Tom Wilkinson on the terrace of the opera house - a cinematographic feast in blue.
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106 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good movie, 7 Aug. 2006
By 
RD - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
The script is beautiful with lots of wit and eloquence that isn't seen very often in movies. The acting is fabulous and one can't help but get very attached to the characters. Plus the movie isn't without its twists which is a bonus.

Helen Hunt plays a lady who is hated by women and loved by men for the simple reason that she is an infamous mistress who lives off the money of her suitors. After the unhappy wives conspire to have her cut off from their husbands' purse strings she hatches a plan to travel to Amalfi and find new blood.

Meg (Scarlet Johansson) is married to a rich American, Robert, who ends up being blackmailed by Helen Hunt after he goes home with her one day. His friend John in the meanwhile has developed feelings for Meg and after hearing the gossip about Robert and his mistress decides that it is time to strike.

In addition to these characters are the numerous Americans on holiday in Italy who have nothing better to do than spy on others, gossip and party away thus ensuring there is never a dull moment in the little town on the Italian coast.

This is a must see movie and Helen Hunt shines in her lead role.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie based on Oscar Wilde, 31 July 2010
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This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
This is a relationship drama. The characters are high-class British and American tourists/expats in a small seaside town in pre-WW2 Italy.

Helen Hunt is just fabulous, playing the role of a middle-aged American woman who excels at milking money out of rich gentlemen in New York. The first scene of the movie shows how she's forced to escape. She ends up in Italy where she gets strangely involved with a freshly married young American man. His wife, in turn, becomes a target of an inventive and persistent aristocrat playboy form England. The plot is very captivating and full of surprises.

The movie is based on a story "Lady Windermere's Fan" by Oscar Wilde, so you might already know what's it all about. I have no idea if and how much the movie might be different from the book, but I'm looking forward to reading it. This movie got me interested in Oscar Wilde. It's mostly because it contains so many adorable puns and aphorisms, like:
"Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future."
or:
"Do you think she would look at you if you were poor?" - "Do you think I would look at her if she was ugly?"

On the other hand, this abundance of brilliant verbal humour is also mildly disturbing. When every third sentence is something witty, it gets a bit tiring to follow. I mean, you don't want the soup that is all water, but this movie is like the soup with almost no water in it, and that's not too good either.

In spite of that, I've watched the movie three times by now and I absolutely recommend it. A lady friend of mine watched it twice and loved it, too.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild, Wilde Scandal, 4 April 2011
By 
Nostalgia (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
As with a good book, they say that a good film should make you feel as though you are there. This is a marvellous combination of seduction and scandal, based on Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan", set in and around Amalfi in the 1930s (rather than Victorian London) amidst beautiful scenery, and I could almost feel a part of it. I have not read Lady Windermere's Fan, but if it is anything like this film, I might be tempted. You have to feel some compassion for Meg Windermere and, ultimately, Mrs Erlynne, but at least there is a happy outcome. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Linda - Cape Town, 12 April 2011
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This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
What a lovely story! Oscar Wilde's Lady Windomere's Fan is the base for this marvelous movie with excellent actors and a moving and memorable story. The movie is set in Italy with lots of sumptuous interiors and clothes. Meg is newly wed and thinks her mother is dead but she is very much alive and arrives to unexpectedly join the couple and creates intrique and complications. A modern story about overly high standards in relationships and how to live more realistically and more honestly. I have watched it over and over and every time see more subtleties and more depth. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oscar Wilde saves the day (and this film), 4 Jun. 2012
By 
Dolphin (Stuck inside a cloud) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
This loose modernization of the Wilde play "Lady Windermere's Fan" could have been even better. The ingredients are all there (a cleverly deceptive plot, brilliant dialogue, excellent actors, fantastic locations) and yet something is missing. For me it's the vital chemistry among the actors, and the casting is partly to blame. Also, both the female leads would have benefited from more flattering camera angles and stronger direction, as they seemed reluctant to inject much personality into the roles of two devastatingly alluring women. Helen Hunt gave an anaemic and overly depressed performance, and was simply not believable as a career mistress who had been the luxuriously-kept darling of the wealthiest men in New York. Scarlett Johansson sleepwalked through the entire movie wearing the same sulky expression and surprisingly failed to convey the intriguing duality of her character. Mark Umbers, an English actor, was awkwardly cast as an American; he did his best but was hampered by said lack of chemistry with the main female characters.

On the positive side, Stephen Campbell-Moore gave an elegant and utterly convincing performance as a charming but slightly dissolute aristocrat. John Standing was delightful as the slightly squiffy socialite. Milena Vukotic provided many hilarious moments with a perfectly straight face. In fact, all the supporting characters gave very good performances, but the stand-out was undoubtedly Tom Wilkinson who routinely stole every scene he was in. What saved this film was a seemingly inexhaustible supply of Oscar Wilde's epigrams which ran like a bubbling stream throughout the play. In fact it was almost overdone, as nearly all of Wilde's famous quips seem to have been utilized, many harvested from his other material.

The play urges society to take an honest look at how narrow-minded attitudes and malicious gossip can wreak havoc with innocent people's lives when "circumstantial evidence" is taken at face value, and also how sometimes the truth can hurt more than a discreet obfuscation of past events. It also shows how someone with a bad reputation can rise above a blemished past and achieve redemption through an act of noble self-sacrifice. Anyone familiar with Wilde's life will recognize his personal knowledge of these themes, however, in his inimitable style he makes his points through humour rather than by preaching. Another excellent reason to watch this production is the visual feast of the villa interiors and the beautifully photographed Amalfi location. I have deducted a star because of the uneven cast, but that has not stopped me from watching this DVD several times already and, to me, the brilliant dialogue alone would justify a purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe would have worked better as a TV series, 19 Oct. 2007
By 
Lukens (Leamington Spa, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
I found this a bit of a "meh" film. Watchable enough, but nothing to really grab you. Fairly slow moving, and that's mostly because not really much happened.

In many ways it felt a bit like a TV drama, or soap even, where different characters' lives crossed paths with each other, and I was kind of left with a felling that if you'd got to know the characters a bit more, and spent a bit more time with them, then it may have been a bit better. So I feel it could have worked better as a TV series, broken down into several episodes, and extended to give more background and depth to the characters and story.

As it was, there wasn't really much depth to the characters, so I didn't really have any feelings for any of them, and most of them didn't really seem very believable. Whether this was just because there wasn't time in the film to develop the characters, or was actually due to a poor script or bad casting, is another matter. I think certainly in the case of Helen Hunt, it was was down to bad casting. Her character, as other reviewers have said, just wasn't believable. I just didn't buy into the idea of her being a serial seductress, wooing rich and handsome men around the world.

I found it perfectly enjoyable whilst watching it, but it didn't leave any lasting impression on me, and I'd not go out of my way to watch it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 15 Jun. 2010
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This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
Its 1930 and a relatively newly married couple are in Italy when a women of questionable standing joins the group and causes a stir to their, and their friends, ordered lives. Its seems like this is going to be a simple story told well, lightly and perhaps a little slowly with nice direction and pretty cinematography.

However the story is not so simple and adds real vigour to the film as it progresses with excellent delicate dilemma's some of the characters face that as viewer I cared about.

There's a good mix of characters, some good, some bad and some in-between. The cast portrays them all well with superb performances especially from Helen Hunt (who I usually don't like), Tom Wilkinson and Stephen Campbell Moore.

Its something of the feel of a good Poirot with the 1930 and the foreign sunny setting though it no crime story as such, this is much more a drama about the people.

I came to this knowing nothing about the film (I actually recorded it by mistake) and the four stars come from that point of view. All before I found out whose story this is based on, which pleased me further.
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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good Woman - a review, 4 Feb. 2006
By 
J. D. Naylor "jazzfan" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
This tale of marriage and infidelity set among the wealthy and privilaged on the Amalfi coast during the 1930's is not quite as good as it should have been.A top notch cast and wonderfull locations can't make up for a slightly stodgy drama which, while it has it's moments doesn't quite cut it for me.The main weakness is that the normally attractive Helen Hunt just looks too old and gaunt to be attracting men much younger than her and with that the credability of the film is undermined.That aside there is still much to enjoy as the story unfolds and the always superb Tom Wilkinson enters the proceedings.The story has a gentle but even pacing which does enough to keep you interested but not enough to get you to the edge of your seat.This film could have been a whole lot better with an all British cast and a little polish added to the script.
An enjoyable film but not a great one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully realised adaptation of Lady Windermere's Fan, 8 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan" is updated to the 1930s and relocated to Amalfi. Visually, it is a stunning triumph, both in scenery and costuming. The acting is excellent, with the characters very sympathetically played. I particularly enjoyed Helen Hunt and Tom Wilkinson, though that is perhaps unfair to the rest of the cast. From my memory of the play, it is also reasonably true to the original. I found it a much more enjoyable experience than the Rupert Everett/Colin Firth "The importance of being Earnest", which I felt went into excesses of gilding the lily.
Overall, a highly recommendable DVD, which was a pleasure to watch
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