Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Easy Virtue" Blog Reviews - It Takes Two To Tango

Sister Blogger and brother WordPress I salute you - out there tapping away in the electronic Morse Code of naughts and ones. Publishing, publishing, publishing.

Here are a select few of the serious cinefile bloggers:

Andrew UrbaN: "Like Oscar Wilde, Coward used wit to prick the balloons of pomp and hypocrisy. But behind the wit lies seriousness of purpose: the crushing of personal identity for the sake of conformity. This is an eternal and universal theme - but if we can have fun unravel it, all the better."

Louise Keller: "With a delicious zest for life and a casual disdain for the upper middle class, Stephan Elliott's happy return to directing is piquant joy."

Cinematical wrote: "I don't know what attracted [Stephan Elliott] to this project, but I'm glad that something did. The material may seem almost purely verbal, all clever turns of phrase and sardonic interjections (what Americans think of as "Britishness"), but Elliott is constantly concerned with how the movie looks and sounds. Fittingly, he manages to give it a curious, otherworldly feel."

Harry Knowles : "It's been a while since I've laughed this loudly in a movie ... I can bestow upon it the only real sign of success: it's a film for people who wouldn't normally see such a film. Now see it."

Helen O' Hara:
"It's to everyone's credit that this loose, screwball adaptation of a Coward melodrama works as well as it does, and emerges as something strange but fresh."

Thomas Caldwell "This is an excellent adaptation of Coward’s play and Elliott’s skills as a director are beautifully on display." ***1/2

John Bale: "Elliott has succeeded in his cheeky upgrading of the Coward play without going into high camp like Priscilla. I’m sure many younger people not familiar with Noel Coward’s work will enjoy this sparkling night’s entertainment."

Neal Anthony: "An iconoclastic re-imagining of Noel Coward’s Easy Virtue - a period film for those who don’t like period films."

Flower.Ink"It's really a funny movie worth watching."

Sour Cherry : "Brilliant. So funny."

User comments have also been providing some one-on-one review action. Over at we have this little gem from gerrystakes: "From the flamboyant director of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, this sublime adaptation of Noel Coward's tragic-comic play zings with dazzling wit and impeccable timing delivered by acting of the highest order. Who knew Jessica Biel could be so delicious as the American interloping fallen woman? Among the British stars, Colin Firth provides the counterpoint gravitas as a WWI surviving member of the "lost generation" who turns the tables on his insufferable wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) and besotted son. Easily one of the most entertaining movies of the past several years, it deserved the genuine spontaneous standing ovation at the world premiere screening I attended at the Toronto film festival. Scott Thomas is devastating in a totally different French-speaking role in "I've loved you for so long", for which she deserves an Oscar nomination. But see this for arch Brit humor at its finest."

A Comedy of Manors "Set in the late 20's early 30's it's what happens when a beautiful bride with a past marries into a family with no future. Jessica Biel and Ben Barnes are the star crossed lovers... Kristin Scott-Thomas and Colin Firth are the stars that they cross... The casting is brilliant, the acting superb, and the story - (based on a Noel Coward play) is sharp, funny and at times (go figure this) heart breaking. Add to that direction from the maverick and iconic Australian Stephan Elliott (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and you also get great music, witty coverage and some of the funniest moments I've had in a film which is thoroughly suitable for a family aged 13 plus. Seriously - how long is it since you've seen a film which stays with you - with an ending you can talk about afterwards?"

There are also a couple of fan sites which have been enthusiastic in their reception for their chosen star:

Colin Firth
Colin Firth appreciation
Ben Barnes
Ben Barnes
And you guessed it... Ben Barnes!
Oh yeah - and Jessica Biel - who really does deserve all her accolades for this fine performance.