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Customer Review

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Anyone Can Play Accurately...I Play With Wonderful Expression...", 2 July 2012
This review is from: The Importance Of Being Earnest [Blu-ray] (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'...

Director Oliver Parker shows a genuine empathy to the material and his adaptation of the play is superb. But more than anything - you feel the 'presence' of genius behind it all - the master - the immortal OSCAR WILDE. Every sentence and set scene is craftsmanship - and few have ever matched him.

Some would say that "The Importance Of Being Earnest" is very slight fare for a film - fluff even - and should remain in a local theatre with a local troupe. I disagree. This big-screen version is an absolute delight and made with real affection and pride.

To sum up - if you're a fan of this lovely film - then you need to own it on BLU RAY. Why it's like finding a baby in a handbag at Victoria Station - first class all the way...
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Jul 2012 11:46:24 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jul 2012 11:48:16 BDT
KJ says:
I'm surprised you called Judi Dench Judy but there we are! The reason for my comment is to warn people that this is a mildly enjoyably version of Wilde's excellent play (that certainly does not belong in a local theater) not the real thing. The text has been butchered and changed, the worst being referring to Earnest as Algernon's YOUNGER, rather than the original older, brother in the recognition scene, which makes nonsense of the plot, surely he would have remembered he had had a brother no matter how air-headed he is! For those who want to see Wilde's delicious comedy as written, it's still better to go for the older, technically inferior it's true, DVD with Michael Redgrave & the, unbeatable, Dame Edith Evans who, as Dame Judi freely admits, simply is the definitive Lady Bracknell.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Nov 2012 16:41:55 GMT
I couldn't agree more!

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2014 19:50:20 BDT
Merget says:
Oh, come on, a little tot would have no more than a buried memory of a lost baby brother, especially as the matter wouldn't be talked about in the nursery where he spent most of his time.
And, on a lighter note, Ernest (the name) hasn't got an A in it.
I thought the adaptation was quite fun.
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