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Easy Virtue (2 stars)

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Easy Virtue

(PG) 96min

England, the 1920s. Dashing young socialite John Whittaker (Ben Barnes) returns to his ancestral pile with his spunky new American wife Larita (Jessica Biel). A hotbed of dysfunction, xenophobia and bankruptcy the family home contains his highly-strung mother (Kristin Scott Thomas), his socially removed father (Colin Firth) and his two bitchy sisters (Kimberley Nixon and Katherine Parkinson). It's not long before all hell breaks loose.

Writer/director Stephan The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Elliott's very loose adaptation of Noel Coward's little known 1924 play is a disappointing affair. Coward's savage attack of high society values and the general hypocrisies of the age are supplanted by something more forced and uncertain in tone. The film's iniquities are amplified by a turgidly slow first half and a toe-curling soundtrack, which consists of modern pop songs, sung in a camp Cole Porter style. Still some great one-liners survive and a uniformly solid cast try their best to bring some colour to this portrait of the 'petrified circus' of family life, but Elliott's direction is too flat åand erratic. If nothing else Easy Virtue is a masterclass in how to make a laugh-free Coward adaptation.

General release from Fri 7 Nov.

Easy Virtue

  • 2 stars
  • 2008
  • UK
  • 97 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Stephan Elliott
  • Written by: Stephan Elliott, Sheridan Jobbins
  • Cast: Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Barnes

England, the 1920s. Dashing young socialite Whittaker (Barnes) returns to his ancestral pile with his spunky new American wife Larita (Biel). Their family home is a hotbed of dysfunction, xenophobia and bankruptcy, and it's not long before all hell breaks out in this loose and disappointing adaptation of Noel Coward's…

Comments

1. toni29 Apr 2009, 5:15pm Report

i havnt seen the film was hopeing some1 could help me there was a statue in this film it was like a fountain it was shot in flintham hall it i m freinds statue and i was woundering if nebody new the directors email address(stephan elliott) he wants to thank him his name i hope i here from someone it is important to him my email adderss is toni692@hotmail.com thank you

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