Previously filmed in 1949, Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan gets another outing in this stylish period piece from Brit helmer Mike Barker. Transplanting the action to '30s Italy and bolstering his cast with high-profile names, Barker gives the classic play a whole new lease of life. And if Wilde's wit doesn't feel quite at home in this setting, it's a small price to pay for a sparkling comedy where Mediterranean sunshine sends Victorian stuffiness scurrying into the shadows.
Helen Hunt is the temptress whom Scarlett Johansson's naïve young bride suspects of seducing her husband. The truth is not so clear-cut, though that doesn't stop her risking ruin with Stephen Campbell Moore's vile cad. The intricate plot, so rewarding on stage, feels contrived on screen, while Hunt and Johansson seem cowed by their dialogue. Luckily, the wonderful Tom Wilkinson is on hand as a rich aristocrat with more sense than money.
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