A Good Woman - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Good Woman Reviews

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September 27, 2015
Pretty cinematography but melodramatic in every other aspect.
June 23, 2015
In the end , I found it hard to follow the script & came to conclude that it was up to me to belive what I wished about all that was implied. Which was the the truth & the lie covering it & truth behind that lie etc.
May 1, 2015
Love this modern adaptation version of Oscar Wilde' s short novel, Lady Windermere' s Fan. Helen Hunt and Scarlett Johansson teamed up to deliver good performances!
½ January 3, 2015
Like most of oscar wilde's plays it must be seen as a comedy, not a "drama" or wathever this film is supposed to be. It just a Hollywood-miscast, and I do mean the two main protagonists (Hunt and Johansson). Tom Wilkinson and Campbell are desperately trying to save this dull adaption, nevertheless It is still more enjoyable than the average hollywood romcom.
September 13, 2014
A really really good movie.
August 17, 2014
O elenco prometia mas a obra de Oscar Wilde é retratada de uma forma algo insípida.
June 11, 2014
This was a pretty good movie. The supporting cast was great. They spent the whole movie gossiping and they had the best lines in the movie.
January 27, 2009
WOW! I so wasn't expecting this movie to be this good or this engaging. I am not a Helen Hunt fan at all and she is just marvelous in this. You believe she is exactly what she is portraying --so much so that you do not see the twist that they totally sneak in there and then you are like WHOA! A lovely film.
Super Reviewer
September 1, 2013
When it comes to adapting the work of such a famous writer like Oscar Wilde, almost any director will fall into some difficulties in portraying such vivid storytelling, especially in re-envisioning the wildly popular play "A Good Woman". Mike Barker's adaptation is both wonderfully cast and wrongfully cast in many instances, as is it often acceptably portrayed and mistakenly portrayed on several occasions. Helen Hunt as Mrs. Erlynne tends to feel a bit miscast. While Hunt is normally a strong and insightful actress, her performance here is muddled, never possessing the femme fatale factor needed to carry her sexuality to the level it needs to be. Instead, she often appears unsure of herself, a choice she makes, but ultimately squanders any sexual undertones surrounding her role. On the other hand, Tom Wilkinson is expertly cast as Tuppy, who embodies his prestige with a vigor all his own, regularly stealing the show and becoming the highlight of the last half of the film. Scarlett Johansson, neither strongly nor badly casted, does carry the naivety needed to successfully delineate the role of Meg and even surprises on occasion. If you've never experienced Wilde's play, as I had not, the film does well to hide many of the story's secrets and produces a mix between great revelations and poor conclusions. Overall, "A Good Woman" rides the borderline between a good adaptation and a misguided one, presenting Wilkinson and Johansson in enough of a favorable light to make the film worth it, but with no expectations of being a favorite.
Super Reviewer
June 27, 2013
Based on a play by Oscar Wilde, A Good Woman is a satirical comedy set in the 1930s. The story follows a seductress, who preys upon rich men, as she heads for the coast of Italy in search of new prospects. The film stars Helen Hunt, Scarlett Johansson, and Tom Wilkinson, who all give strong performances. The costumes and set designs are also quite impressive, and have an authentic feel to them. However, the writing is dialog heavy, and it interferes with the storytelling. While the film has some problems, A Good Woman is an entertaining film with a smart sense of humor.
May 17, 2013
Although not a bad movie, it was not as scintillating as Oscar Wilde should be even with his witty dialog and the beautiful Italian coast as backdrop. Helen Hunt, although a very good actress, was simply not right for this role, although the rest of the cast was very well chosen. The mood and music were too melancholy, instead of as spritely as Wilde meant the play to be.This director should have watched Room With a View.
½ March 30, 2013
The women in this movie just ended up being a little irritating. Maybe it was the casting choices, but the only really enjoyable thing in this movie ended up being the banter between the men (even though it was extremely sexist-it was of the time, so it was pretty funny). Definitely not up to the standard of Oscar Wilde.
February 27, 2013
Moving story. Loved it!
½ February 16, 2013
I though the cast was superb, and I liked the photography.
½ February 5, 2013
This movie is, ultimately, not very good. But. Costumes are very pretty as is the scenery, so if that's enough to make you happy, this could be worth a watch. There are good people in this film, but I'm not sure what they were thinking since the storyline is pretty stupid. Maybe the script made it sound better? Mildly romantic but only slightly, so if you hope for a satisfying romance, this won't really do it. Really, its best features are the costumes & sets, & a simple plot (if simplicity is your preference). Perhaps a good light escapist jaunt if that's what you feel like. Keep your expectations low, however, and you won't be too disappointed.
½ January 15, 2013
a good waste of time.
October 18, 2009
The leading ladies did not lead, but only followed. I was mostly embarrassed for them and their horrible accents and silly immature behavior. I think it goes to show why Hunt never became a star. The Italian village was beautiful as well as romantic. Vukotic was strong as well as Moore.

Perhaps the story was flawed as well, showing the problems of marriage and how everyone cannot be trusted even when they should be. I may just read the play to see whether Wilde's writing is up to snuff.
January 5, 2013
Odd, but nice. Helen Hunt's acting was lacking but Scarjo looked absolutely stunning.
January 2, 2013
Helen Hunt gives perhaps the worst line readings of her career and Johansson gives the most wooden performance I've seen her give, but the rest of the performances are good.

Regarding the liberties taken with the play, I think that's actually the film's strong suit. Within the play itself, most of the exposition is handled with soliloquy. In a film, you can do that by letting the characters break the fourth wall--the more recent film adaptation of "Richard III" is an example of doing this well--but I applaud the decision to add a expository sequence that weaves most of that material into a linear narrative. Also, given that there ARE scenes featured exactly as Wilde wrote them, and Wilde is without parellel among playwrights active towards the more modern end of things, I think it speaks to the strength of Himmelstein's writing that they only stand out starkly if you are familiar with the play and recognize the quotes.

On a structural level, what I identify as the film's major weakness is the 1930s setting. You can't believably set a film in 1930s Italy without SOME acknowledgement of the Depression and the rise of the European fascists. The film does address the Depression at one point, but identifies it as an American, not a global, problem. If this is meant to speak to the characters cluelessness about what is going on around them, it was either executed badly at the script level or lost in the editing.

Moreover, I think they only set it in the early 20th century so they could update Wilde as much as possible without loosing the mocking of high society as presented in the original work. I think that points to either the writer possibly not knowing what the story was really about or not wanting to lose some of the more biting Wilde dialogue. If the writer insisted on making that choice, it would have been wiser to set it in the 1920s, which would have avoided the awkwardness of showing these characters living in untroubled decadence during a global economic depression and made Erlynne's backstory even more reddeming by putting her youth in the end of the era of the robber barrons rather than in the Gilded Age.
December 20, 2012
An Interesting Variation

Naturally, any version of a work of classic literature that isn't spot-on the original has the prospect of losing something in adaptation. And indeed, this version lost quite a bit. They seem to have gone out of their way to have kept in the best of the lines, or at least the best-known of the lines. However, they still trimmed enough away so that I don't know if we really got the best possible version of [i]this[/i] version, if you know what I mean. I'm not sure how long an unabridged version of this would be, because I've never seen it--possibly the only version I've ever actually seen is the silent one, which has its own problems--but I feel certain there must be something missing. Oscar Wilde was lazy, but he also liked the sound of his own voice, be it spoken or literary. The idea that an adaptation of one of his works best comes in at under an hour and a half is improbable to me.

Mrs. Erlynne (Helen Hunt) is a notorious woman. She has gone to Amalfi in the hopes of finding a wealthy man to take care of her. What she finds, among other things, is young Robert Windermere (Mark Umbers). He is less than a year married to Meg (Scarlett Johansson), who is about to turn twenty-one and is having a party to celebrate. But Mrs. Erlynne knew Meg, twenty years earlier. She knew Meg, because she is Meg's mother. She abandoned husband and daughter and disappeared, and all these years, Meg has believed that her mother is dead. Robert begins paying Mrs. Erlynne to keep her from revealing herself to Meg. Meg, alas, finds out about it, mostly through the machinations of the dastardly Lord Darlington (Stephen Campbell Moore). Darlington is attracted to Meg--it isn't love or obsession, because he doesn't feel that deeply, but it is nonetheless enough for him to hope that she will leave her husband for him. Mrs. Erlynne is herself the object of affection of Tuppy (Tom Wilkinson), but she will sacrifice what she must to protect her daughter.

I like the choice of setting for this version. I'm not sure where the quotes about Americans come from, as the Windermeres are not American in the original--hence "Lady Windermere," of course. However, it does put an interesting twist on how determined they are to be part of society. Of course, Mrs. Erlynne's reputation ensures that she would Not Be Received no matter what, but how much more willing they all are to believe something shocking about her because she is American. How much more innocent and sheltered Meg is allowed to appear because she is unused to the ways of British society. By setting the whole thing in Italy, not London, it is easier for Tuppy to have his happy ending. It is also a particularly glamorous era for women's clothing, meaning that Meg's birthday party is even more beautiful than it might otherwise be were they dressed in the right clothing for the time the play was actually written.

It's a bit odd how much this play celebrates "traditional marriage." Oh, there's a strong theme of forgiveness running through the whole thing, though it is deemed better for Meg that her mother be dead than "wicked." However, Mrs. Erlynne is not seen by Wilde as entirely wicked. What she did long ago wasn't right, though she was punished for it. Blackmailing Robert wasn't right, either, though this version, at least, implies that she doesn't have much of any other way to survive. (Though see my rant about smart women from [i]How to Marry a Millionaire[/i], not set that long afterward.) In the end, though, the happiest ending is that Robert and Meg stay married. People think of Oscar Wilde as some kind of profligate--and, come to that, he was for his own era. However, he was in his own way quite moral. Yes, Meg's a bit of a stuffy prig, and she needs to learn to loosen up, but the answer is not to loosen up so much that she runs off with a lover, repeating her own mother's mistake.

Once again, I have encountered a role wherein I'm not sure if Scarlett Johansson is acting, because she clearly doesn't have to. However, I must say that the most impressive part of this movie was Helen Hunt's performance. While she is old enough to be Scarlett Johansson's mother--if she were as old when her daughter was born as her daughter is supposed to be here--it's a little surprising that she was still willing to [i]play[/i] Scarlett Johansson's mother. She doesn't look like an old woman, but she looks middle-aged, a thing that seems almost less likely for an actress to be willing to try to play. She does not play the character as terribly maternal, but she plays her as someone who wishes she could be maternal. She's interested in herself, and interested in herself most of all, but she also wants what's best for Meg. She just isn't used to thinking about other people's needs. She's been Wicked for so long that being loving comes as a surprise to her. It's a fine performance in an iffy movie.
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