February 26, 2017


The Importance of Being Earnest – 2002 | 97 mins | Comedy, Drama | Colour


Plot Synopsis

The Importance of Being Earnest

Adapted from the play by Oscar Wilde, and directed by Oliver Parker, the man responsible for the adaptation of Wilde’s An Ideal Husband (1999), The Importance of Being Earnest is a romantic comedy-of-manners about mistaken identity set amid late-19th-century English high society. Filled with wit and wisdom, this faithful reworking of Earnest fixates on the manners and morals of the pretentious and the manor-born. Skewering all and sundry with some of Wilde’s finest collection of epigrams and nasty asides, Parker’s version of Earnest opens the film up as opposed to Anthony Asquith’s more stage-bound 1951 film.

Two young bachelors living in 1890′s England have taken to bending the truth in order to put some excitement into their lives. Jack Worthing (Colin Firth) has invented an imaginary brother, Ernest, who he uses as an excuse to leave his dull country life behind and visit the ravishing Gwendolen Fairfax (Frances O’Connor). When Jack proposes, Gwendolen’s stern mother, the haughty Lady Bracknell (Judi Dench) soon puts a damper on Jack’s advances by rejecting him as being not socially distinguished enough for her daughter. Jack’s best-friend, the caddish Algernon Moncrieff (Rupert Everett) uses a similar pseudonym technique to evade his creditors and unwelcome social engagements, only in reverse, his imaginary friend, ‘Bunbury’, provides a convenient and frequent method of taking adventures in the country. However, their dishonesty begins to come undone when Algy decides to take the name ‘Ernest’ when visiting Jack’s young and beautiful young ward, Cecily Cardew (Reese Witherspoon) at the manor. Ultimately things converge when all involved end up in the Hertfordshire countryside together.

Production Team

Oliver Parker: Director
Paul Ghirardani: Art Direction
Tony Pierce-Roberts: Cinematography
Maurizio Millenotti: Costume Design
Guy Bensley: Editing
Peter King: Makeup Department
Nuala Conway: Makeup Department
Charlie Mole: Original Music
Barnaby Thompson: Producer
Luciana Arrighi: Production Design
Oliver Parker: Script
Richard Dunford: Sound Department
Max Hoskins: Sound Department
John Midgley: Sound Department


Rupert Everett: Algy
Colin Firth: Jack
Frances O’Connor: Gwendolen
Reese Witherspoon: Cecily
Judi Dench: Lady Bracknell
Tom Wilkinson: Dr Chasuble
Anna Massey: Miss Prism
Edward Fox: Lane

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