An Ideal Husband

‘To love one’s self is the beginning of a lifelong romance’
At a reception in the London home of Sir Robert Chiltern MP, Mrs Laura Cheveley asks for his support of one of her investments – an Argentinian canal scheme. If he does not agree, she threatens to expose the fraud on which he built his own wealth. His wife Gertrude has no idea of her ‘ideal’ husband’s secret but when Laura tells her, she urgently seeks advice from his best friend Arthur. He agrees to meet her but Laura arrives first and steals Gertrude’s note, bringing about a typical Wildean confusion.

Director Oliver Parker who previously filmed Othello, takes on the difficult task of bringing Wilde’s biting Victorian comedy to the screen. Julianne Moore plays the devilish Mrs Cheveley and Rupert Everett as Lord Arthur is the proverbial eligible bachelor. Set in sumptious mansions where both the men and women are equally lavishly clothed, the enjoyment comes from watching them play richly with words and endeavour to get themselves out of complicated situations.

Director: Oliver Parker
UK/US, 1999.
97 min.

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