An Ideal Husband

1999

An Ideal Husband

Critics Consensus

Brevity is the soul of wit, eh? This adaptation gets to the nitty gritty of Wilde's stage piece and plays on eternal human foibles.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 65

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,014
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Movie Info

In a moment of youthful indiscretion, Sir Robert Chiltern provided an Austrian baron with secret Foreign Office information. As payment he received the money that became the basis of his fortune and of his splendid, otherwise unimpeachable government career. Years later, he is blackmailed by a mysterious woman who also happens to be an acquaintance of his wife. Seeking the advice of his best friend, Sir Chiltern is told to confess everything to his wife and seek her support, but he refuses to tarnish the ideal image he believes his wife has of him and their marriage. His refusal to tell his wife has severe consequences as she becomes as much of threat to his position as the blackmailer.

Cast

Rupert Everett
as Arthur Goring
Julianne Moore
as Mrs. Cheveley
Jeremy Northam
as Sir Robert Chiltern
John Wood
as Lord Caversham
Ben Pullen
as Tommy Trafford
Lindsay Duncan
as Lady Markby
Nickolas Grace
as Vicounte de Nanjac
Anna Patrick
as Miss Danvers
Delia Lindsay
as Lady Basildon
Andy Harrison
as Algernon
Jill Balcon
as Lady Bracknell
Janet Henfrey
as Miss Prism
Toby Robertson
as Canon Chasuble
Michael Culkin
as Oscar Wilde
Doug Bradley
as Brackpool
Stephen May
as Burlington
Jeroen Krabbé
as Baron Arnheim
Susannah Wise
as Young Mother
Peter Parker
as M.P. No 1
Oliver Ford Davies
as Sir Hugo Danforth
Neil Mendoza
as M.P. No 2
John Thompson
as The Speaker
View All

News & Interviews for An Ideal Husband

Critic Reviews for An Ideal Husband

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (10)

  • The bright, crisp design, Wilde's arch eloquence and a classy company help to camouflage the shortcomings.

    Mar 2, 2011 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • An enjoyable, minor, lustrously shot revamping of Oscar Wilde's play about the perpetually interlocked manners of love and deception.

    Jul 7, 2010 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Smooth-flowing direction, a shrewdly pruned script and a top-flight ensemble cast that visibly relishes both the dialogue and one another's perfs make this a tony item for upscale, mature audiences.

    Jun 19, 2008 | Full Review…

    Derek Elley

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Parker has made a sensible cinematic translation of Wilde's play, intercutting scenes which would have been played consecutively on the stage.

    Jul 21, 2005
  • [I]t's likely that Mr. Wilde, who once wrote, 'A poet can survive anything but a misprint,' would have been less than thrilled with the result.

    Mar 19, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
    Globe and Mail
    Top Critic
  • Wilde was always about lots more than witty repartee, and as sparkling as his play is as drawing-room comedy, it reveals his concern with the timeless values of unselfish love and forgiveness.

    Feb 14, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for An Ideal Husband

  • Jun 15, 2010
    Ideal is not a word I would use to describe "An Ideal Husband". Cate Blanchett and Rupert Everett held up this average movie. The witt and humor mostly came from Everett and Blanchett's characters. This, though, proves that there was witt and intriguing moments. The plot was good enough, up until the ending, which wasn't set up enough during the movie. Overall worth a watch, but not as amazing as some lead you to believe.
    Liz < Super Reviewer
  • Aug 20, 2009
    <a href="http://tinypic.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i25.tinypic.com/11l3akn.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a> Oscar Wilde's play, An Ideal husband, remake in movie with great performances by Cate Blanchette, Rupert Everett, Jullianne Moore and directed by Oliver Parker. I must say refreshing British humor with very funny scenes. Julianne Moore portrayed the blackmailer Mrs. Laura Chevely very well, But I liked Rupert Everett, for me he stole the complete show. Everett had naturally charm and charisma, and fits perfectly for the Lord Goring role. All in all, I highly recommend this movie.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2008
    Superbly written Oscar Wilde adaptation weaves its layers of romance and deceit masterfully, brimming with dry wit and astute observations about love. Marvelous cast with Rupert Everett scoring highest, and even the peerless Cate Blanchett would step aside to acknowledge the delightful doe-eyed performance of Minnie Driver. Be aware the whole film is one long talkfest, but if you savor the digestion of skilled, multi-meaning conversation, then 'An Ideal Husband' is a sumptuous feast for the ears.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 25, 2008
    A well-executed Oscar Wilde play that is both funny and charming.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer

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