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97 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good movie
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...
Published on 7 Aug 2006 by RD

versus
56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good Woman - a review
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...
Published on 4 Feb 2006 by J. D. Naylor


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97 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good movie, 7 Aug 2006
By 
RD - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild, Wilde Scandal, 4 April 2011
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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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6 of 6 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Linda - Cape Town, 12 April 2011
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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26 of 28 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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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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and witty morality tale, 15 Dec 2005
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Curlynob (Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
There are some mixed reviews around for this one. Some people have suggested that Mike Barker's film interpretation of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan lacks spine and is a little dull. What I found when i went to the cinema was a charming, clever and witty film about the complicated relationship that sex and marriage often share. Helen Hunt is wonderful, and her relationship with Tom Wilkinson is perhaps the highlight of the film. The Italian Riviera looks absolutely wonderful and the costumes are great.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe would have worked better as a TV series, 19 Oct 2007
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Lukens (Leamington Spa, UK) - See all my reviews
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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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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It takes a lot of skill and practice to live without regrets,", 13 Jun 2006
This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
The lovely Mrs. Erlynne has a problem. Spurned by all the society ladies, for discreetly servicing their husbands, she can no longer afford to spend her days living in New York as the "woman of ill repute." Suddenly she finds herself an outcast and penniless, so she decides to travel to Amalfi Coast of Italy, where she hopes to squeeze some cash out of some fresh prey.

She sets herself on the young newlyweds Robert and Meg Windermere (Mark Umbers and Scarlett Johansson) and in the process; she hopes to find herself a new man. But Mrs. Erlynne also holds a secret, a secret that if made known, will threaten to destroy the young couple's marriage. Robert doesn't want his wife's peace disturbed and doesn't want her to know about the secret; yet Mrs. Erlynne takes advantage of the situation, after all, she desperately needs someone - preferably an aristocrat to keep her in the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed.

Neither Robert nor Mrs. Erlynne, however, have reckoned on the vituperative nature of the Italian aristocracy. Amalfi is a hotbed of idol gossip, with the elegantly rich entertaining themselves by spying on each other, soaking up all the scandal wherever they can find it. Almost instantly, conjecture becomes facts. Mr. Windermere's clandestine meetings with Mrs. Erlynne are quickly mistaken for a tawdry affair. The fire flares when Meg finds check stubs paid to Mrs. Erlynne in her husband's desk.

Word quickly gets around, especially with a woman such as Mrs. Erlynne and her past threatens to catch up with her The only person who doesn't judge her is the lovable and kindhearted - and very rich - Tuppy, a bachelor who yearns to marry his match. Meanwhile, the caddish Lord Darlington (Stephen Campbell Moore) is courting the innocent Meg, and she's quite enamored of him.

Everyone is soon immersed in a maelstrom of illicit liaisons and racy sexual politics. Meg is convinced her new husband is having an affair, whilst Mrs. Ermine is fraught with confusion - a born outsider, marriage has never been for her, yet she's getting a little too old to be constantly branded as such a "loose" woman. In A Good Woman the wealthy are sarcastic, bitter, witty and conniving just as much as they are innocent, emotional, regretful and honest.

Based on Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan, director Mike Barker does a fabulous job of drawing the Wilde social satire out of the drawing room, and opening up the play to Italy in the 1930's and incorporating some of the most beautiful and sparkling Riviera vistas as a backdrop, The production design is unsurpassed - the film is lush, exotic and absolutely gorgeous to watch, there's never a scene or an image wasted.

The acting is also strong. Hunt beautifully captures, Mrs. Erlynne's vulnerability and pain - she's a damaged and lonely woman, who obviously loves money and the sort of lifestyle it can bring, but she's also a realist and doesn't hesitate to play the shameless vamp with a knack for insinuating herself into the beds and checkbook registers of men who should know better.

Tom Wilkinson absolutely nails the very wealthy but lonely Tuppy with the required tragicomic pitch that brings forth a great deal of self-effacing charm. And of course the beautiful Scarlet is extremely good here and manages to seem naïve and vulnerable without tipping into melodramatics. Oscar Wilde liked men with a future and women with a past. In a Good Woman he wouldn't be disappointed, as the film is full of colorful and endlessly pithy types who seek to escape their past mistakes, yet seem to have a real love for life. Mike Leonard June 06.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good film, bad DVD, 22 Dec 2011
This review is from: A Good Woman [DVD] (DVD)
A modernised version of Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's fan", set in the 1930s. Well made film, good cast. I loved it when I saw it on TV. However, the DVD quality is below par. The sound quality is bad, even with the volume set to maximmum, and there are no subtitles. Since the dialogue, mostly borrowed from Oscar Wilde, plays an important part, the poor sound completely spoils what would otherwise be a delightful film to watch.
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A Good Woman [DVD]
A Good Woman [DVD] by Mike Barker (DVD - 2006)
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