Monday, 2 July 2012

“The Importance Of Being Earnest”. A Review Of The 2002 Film Now Reissued On A 2012 BLU RAY.

"…Anyone Can Play Accurately…I Play With Wonderful Expression…"

As a long-time reviewer and fan of this new format - I am constantly yo-yoing between praise for BLU RAY reissues and damning them. Some films are massively enhanced by the format’s capacity to show more  - others are either made worse by it - or have suffered at the hands of a lazy and sloppy transfer.

Well I'm pleased to say that "The Importance Of Being Earnest" is in the former - because the print on this 2012 BLU RAY reissue is TRULY GORGEOUS - shockingly so even.

Set in 1890's British upper-class society - "The Importance Of Being Earnest" was a lavish 2002 Ealing Studios/Miramax production – so the BLU RAY should shine when it comes to 'detail' - and that's indeed what you get. Dandy clothing, ladies refinery, interiors of men's clubs, alleyways in London, carriages to the country, Stately homes and their gardens, cucumber sandwiches and tea on the lawn, vicars and language tutors – it all looks beautiful.

Throw in Wilde's clever jabbing at society and a cast thoroughly enjoying themselves with witty material (especially Rupert Everett as the good-for-nothing Algernon Moncrieff and Judy Dench as the matriarchal Lady Augusta) – and you're on a reissue winner. Americans Reese Witherspoon and Frances O'Connor show a deftness of touch too, while Colin Firth is as effortlessly charming as ever. I also particularly like Tom Wilkinson and Anna Massey as the elderly couple whose courtship goes unexpressed but is so deeply touching. And Edward Fox as Lane - Algernon's old butler – constantly evading Algernon's need for praise (dialogue above) with wily replies…shutting Algernon too up by mentioning vulgar things like 'wages'…

Director Oliver Parker shows a genuine empathy to the material and his adaptation of the play is superb. But more than anything – you feel the 'presence' of genius behind it all – the master - the immortal OSCAR WILDE. Every sentence and set scene is craftsmanship - and few have ever matched him.

Some would say that "The Importance Of Being Earnest" is very slight fare for a film – fluff even – and should remain in a local theatre with a local troupe. I disagree. This big-screen version is an absolute delight and made with real affection and pride.

To sum up - if you're a fan of this lovely film – then you need to own it on BLU RAY. 

Why it's like finding a baby in a handbag at Victoria Station – first class all the way…

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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