Easy Virtue (PG)

Film

EASY_VIRTUE_11.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Nov 4 2008

It may date from 1926, but Noël Coward’s sly comedy highlights the repressed insularity of the crumbling English aristocracy with enough continuing relevance to sustain this ’20s-set screen adaptation. Letting Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin Firth loose on a steady supply of catty one-liners is, of course, another selling point, and both prove well up to the task as the fiercely snobbish mother and war-chastened father welcoming their raffish son (Ben Barnes, lumbered with a rather wishy-washy role) back to the ancestral seat. His new bride, Larita (Jessica Biel) is not only American, however, but a famed auto-racer with a chequered past, so winning over her man’s fuddy-duddy folks could be quite a challenge.

Thankfully, ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ director Stephan Elliott has no intention of turning this into some anodyne drawing-room divertissement. But it’s as if Elliott is trying a bit too hard: there’s a flurry of ostentatious camera moves, an often ungainly rhythm to the scenes  and the conceit of shoehorning vocal numbers old and new (‘Sex Bomb’, anyone?) into an already dialogue-heavy soundscape was surely a non-starter. Still, nobody does matronly hauteur like Scott Thomas, and peroxide bombshell Biel proves surprisingly confident with the dialogue, if ultimately lacking enough variety of approach when Coward turns the tables to suggest her glamorous interloper is not all that. Overall, the film’s never less than lively – with Kris Marshall a nifty scene-stealer as the wise butler – yet you do get the sense that greater discipline all round would have made even more of it. As it is, it’s fizzy, but variable.
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Release details

Rated:

PG

UK release:

Fri Nov 7, 2008

Duration:

97 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:9
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|21
1 person listening
Lucy

Loved this movie and not only because Colin Firth is in it. The characters have substance and I was caught up in this (yes, the plots been done before) 'mother-in-law from hell can't and won't accept her baby boy's fiance' tale that was done with taste and humor. Loved the fashions and Jessica Biel looked wonderful in them. Surprise ending for sure. So as you can see, I enjoyed the movie not only because Colin Firth is in it!

Lucy

Loved this movie and not only because Colin Firth is in it. The characters have substance and I was caught up in this (yes, the plots been done before) 'mother-in-law from hell can't and won't accept her baby boy's fiance' tale that was done with taste and humor. Loved the fashions and Jessica Biel looked wonderful in them. Surprise ending for sure. So as you can see, I enjoyed the movie not only because Colin Firth is in it!

Margaret

I saw this movie tonight and thought it was delightful. Everyone in the cinema clapped heartily when it finished. Something for everyone.

Margaret

I saw this movie tonight and thought it was delightful. Everyone in the cinema clapped heartily when it finished. Something for everyone.

amy

Looks like the distributor has hijacked the feedback section! This film ia AWFUL. Badly acted, poorly written. A total snooze. Scott Thomas is the only stepping up tp the plate but even she can't carry the rest of the lame-duck cast, including Firth who phones in his performance. Okay, the butler is funny. But still not worth the ticket price.

Madison

enjoyable if you overlook the predictable plot. a few laugh out loud moments (particularly the cocker spaniel scene) and JEssica Biel holds her own among a solid brit cast. harmless fun - you could take your gran to see this.

John

I thoroughly enjoyed this witty, warm and thoroughly funny film. Jessica Biel and Ben Barnes are a great addition to the pantheon of period film performers.

John

I thoroughly enjoyed this witty, warm and thoroughly funny film. Jessica Biel and Ben Barnes are a great addition to the pantheon of period film performers.

Graham

Not really what I expected. Far more of a period drama than a comedy. I have to admit i was disappointed with only a few laughs in the entire film.

freya

Saw this last night. Why aren't the critics giving it five stars? Okay, it's not going to win an Oscar because movies like this never win Oscars, but it was very entertaining and made me feel happy. We came out feeling better than when we went in. Jessica Biel is fantastic.

freya

Saw this last night. Why aren't the critics giving it five stars? Okay, it's not going to win an Oscar because movies like this never win Oscars, but it was very entertaining and made me feel happy. We came out feeling better than when we went in. Jessica Biel is fantastic.

Janie

Pack up your troubles in your old kitbag, and smile, smile, smile! Well, I did anyway. Marvellous piece of escapist entertainment (with some depth, as well). Ideal for an evening out if you need cheering up.

Janie

Pack up your troubles in your old kitbag, and smile, smile, smile! Well, I did anyway. Marvellous piece of escapist entertainment (with some depth, as well). Ideal for an evening out if you need cheering up.

Simon

I agree with Dave. I thought that it wasn't going to be my kind of film - I only went to please my girlfriend. But I really, really enjoyed it. Funny, very well acted by all the cast, great soundtrack. To be honest, I liked it far more than the boring "Quantum of Solace" (not that I'd tell my mates!)

Simon

I agree with Dave. I thought that it wasn't going to be my kind of film - I only went to please my girlfriend. But I really, really enjoyed it. Funny, very well acted by all the cast, great soundtrack. To be honest, I liked it far more than the boring "Quantum of Solace" (not that I'd tell my mates!)

Helen

I whole heartedly agree! I went with my husband and we both loved it. Jessica Biel's costumes are wonderful and the sound music is great. Stay in your seat through the credits and listen to the wonderful orchestra. I love Noel Coward, period dramas etc so for me it was ideal. Just ignore the critics and GO!

Helen

I whole heartedly agree! I went with my husband and we both loved it. Jessica Biel's costumes are wonderful and the sound music is great. Stay in your seat through the credits and listen to the wonderful orchestra. I love Noel Coward, period dramas etc so for me it was ideal. Just ignore the critics and GO!

Amy Cottesloe

I don't know what an "anodyne drawing-room" is - but it sounds like someone needs to loosen up a bit. This is the best film I've seen in ages - funny, smart and tender - the sort of film you can take your mother or your daughter too and both will enjoy it - and not a swear word or gun battle in ear shot. Go.

Amy Cottesloe

I don't know what an "anodyne drawing-room" is - but it sounds like someone needs to loosen up a bit. This is the best film I've seen in ages - funny, smart and tender - the sort of film you can take your mother or your daughter too and both will enjoy it - and not a swear word or gun battle in ear shot. Go.

Dave

I lost the toss on this one with my girlfriend. Much to my surprise - I had a good time. Lots of laughs, a good story and Jessica Biel has a truly heroic arse. Really. Something for everyone.

Dave

I lost the toss on this one with my girlfriend. Much to my surprise - I had a good time. Lots of laughs, a good story and Jessica Biel has a truly heroic arse. Really. Something for everyone.