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An Ideal Husband

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Minnie Driver, Cate Blanchett, ...

AN IDEAL HUSBAND Jeremy Northam, Cate Blanchett (1999, Miramax, 98 mins., PG-13, also on DVD) Rupert Everett effortlessly steals the show as the dissolute but ultimately honorable Lord Goring in this adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s witty comedy of Victorian moral conventions, An Ideal Husband. (”I love talking about nothing,” he tells his disapproving father. ”It’s the only thing I know anything about.”) Fast on his well-shod heels is Julianne Moore’s exquisitely black-hearted schemer, Mrs. Cheveley. Northam, as a politician threatened with scandal, and Blanchett, as his too-adoring wife, make the most of the less-broad roles of the seemingly irreproachable couple who need a lesson in human folly. While questions of honor — especially in politics — may seem quaint in this post-Monicagate world, the film’s take on the dangers of high-and-mightiness remains as fresh as Wilde’s delicious epigrams.

Reel Goodies Wilde appears as a character in the film, regaling the audience at the debut of his 1895 play ”The Importance of Being Earnest.” The Last Detail The movie’s ad campaign used two posters: One centered on Northam as the titular husband, while the other showcased ”My Best Friend’s Wedding” hottie Everett. A-