Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest' Comparison Essay by Elizabeth Kelly

Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest'
This paper looks at the play and the 2002 Miramax film of 'The Importance of Being Earnest'.
# 101844 | 1,728 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2008 | CA

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This paper provides the writer's personal views regarding the play and film of "The Importance of Being Earnest". The writer notes that, while reading 'The Importance of Being Earnest' she wondered how it could possibly work as a movie. The writer then provides a critique and argues that the movie did not work particularly well. The writer points out that the cast was brilliant, the script is classic and witty and the budget was certainly adequate, but argues that the movie falls flat and then discusses where exactly it went wrong. The writer maintains that that the over-the-top fluffiness is exactly what Oscar Wilde would have wanted The writer concludes that both play and movie are worth experiencing, but only in that order.

From the Paper:

"With a script like this, the fault must lie, at least in part, with the direction. If there was one thing done correctly in this film, however, it was the casting. The cast really was wonderful: from the characters they were chosen to play, to their individual performances, all the way to their work as an ensemble. In some instances, however, I felt they looked too deeply for something to do. Judi Dench is brilliant, but her character is rather simple: the archetypal stern mother. I just felt when reading it like it was a rather straight forward mother, looking to control the situation to better her daughter's future. I felt like Judi Dench was too good, and too much, to play this rather dry character. She is such a grounded actor I had trouble believing in her character's one track mind. I felt the same for Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon has such a spark to her; I felt she was too much for the simple vulnerability of Cecily. The movie added in these fantasies of hers which I think in part were there to help a modern audience understand what the attraction to Algernon would be to Cecily. And it also acted as a vehicle to give Witherspoon more room to develop Cecily. But once again, for me, it really altered the character. It may be the way I read it."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • The Importance of Being Earnest. Dir. Oliver Parker. Perf. Rupert Everett and Colin Firth. DVD. Ealing, 2002.
  • Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest. New York: Dover Publications, 1990.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest' (2008, March 04) Retrieved June 06, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/oscar-wilde-the-importance-of-being-earnest-101844/

MLA Format

"Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest'" 04 March 2008. Web. 06 June. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/oscar-wilde-the-importance-of-being-earnest-101844/>