Cinema: An Ideal Husband

Directed by Oliver Parker

Oscar Wilde's second-best play, about a politician threatened with scandal, was in love with its own verbal dazzle and even more with the frailties of the clever folk at its heart. Adapter Parker, content to skate on the cool, hard surface of Wilde's wit, gets suave turns from Jeremy Northam (right) as the pol, Cate Blanchett (left) as his naive wife, Rupert Everett as a drawling best friend and Julianne Moore as the blackmailer. He also retains enough of Wilde's wit that you may want to reach for your Epigramamine. But the plot is trashed, the emotions trivialized into attitudes, the...

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