A Good Woman

A Good Woman is a good movie and one that I’d heartily recommend. Based on the play by Oscar Wilde, “Lady Windermere’s Fan”, the movie is set in the 1930s at Amalfi on the Italian coast, focussing on the lives and scadals of a group of very rich people. Visually it’s gorgeous and it makes you want to go and be there NOW.

Although the film is based on the Oscar Wilde play, and contains many classic Wilde lines, it’s been modernised somewhat. The result is that sometimes the classic lines appear contrived and perhaps lose some of their impact. Lines like, “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking up at the stars”. I think the charm of Wilde, evident in “The Importance Of Being Earnest”, is the poetry of his writing. Perhaps this is why for the first half of the film I was a little disappointed.

As I wondered whether or not this film would be anything more than delightful scenery and witty conversation, I was suddenly shown.

As I’d never read “Lady Windermere’s Fan” I was unaware of the plot twist which occurs through the movie. A plot twist which takes this movie to a new level.

A level which allows actors like Helen Hunt to come into their own. Hunt plays Mrs Erlynne, a woman who ostensibly, arrives in Amalfi to leave behind her checkered past. At first she appears opportunistic and in the eyes of the local glitterati may in fact be a prostitute. Helen Hunt is the star of this film as her character is totally believable with one scene, in particular, causing my eyes to well up and then for a few drops of tears to go rolling down my face.

On the other hand, I though the young American couple of Meg (played by Scarlett Johansson) and Robert (played by Mark Umbers) were a little dissapointing and one dimensional. Although we see Meg very upset, I didn’t really believe her performance. I also though Robert was a little wooden. This was disappointing because I thought there was a lot more to their characters that could have been explored.

Despite this, I thought “A Good Woman” was a wonderful film, one that I’d recommend, and one that I’m sure I could watch several times over.

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