Anne Ku at Pitshanger Manor House, June 2002
The importance of being earnest
Celebrating 100 years and the revival of Ealing Film Studios, the Ealing Film Festival opened with a preview of the new movie "The Importance of Being Earnest."
I first saw this play in Oxford when I was spending my summer studying 20th century British history. Since it's been awhile, I've forgotten what Oscar Wilde meant by "being earnest." It's a pun on the state of being earnest and that of being named Ernest.
Although the two newspaper reviews I had read today were both negative, I nevertheless decided to see the movie for myself.
The producer Barnaby Thompson spoke, followed by the director Oliver Parker. "What's in a name?" Indeed, he quoted Shakespeare. But we were to soon to find out that everything is in a name. The name being, of course, Earnest, or rather, Ernest Worthing.
Rupert Everett with a thick black moustache stars as a debt-ridden bachelor Algy, short for Algernon Moncrieff , who doesn't seem to do anything for a living other than lead a life of leisure, which includes playing the piano. Colin Firth (oh, how many of us came just to see him!) is John or Jack in the countryside of Hertfordshire, but Ernest Worthing in London. These two tall handsome gentlemen in their mid-thirties are about to propose to the women of their dreams Gwendolen and Cecily.
It's a delightful comedy with Judi Dench as Lady Bracknell delivering Oscar Wilde's most famous lines. I'm also pleased to see Rupert Everett and Colin Firth sing and play the piano and guitar to woo their two ladies.
6 September 2002 Friday
Ealing Film Festival
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