EASY VIRTUEJanuary 13, 2009
Easy Virtue is a social comedy based on Noël Coward’s play of the same name. The play was previously made into the silent movie Easy Virtue (1928) by Alfred Hitchcock. This version is directed by Stephan Elliott, written by Elliott and Sheridan Jobbins, and stars Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, and Kristin Scott Thomas.
The film has been selected to screen at the Toronto Film Festival. It’s also scheduled for the Rio Film Festival, MEIFF, | Rome Film Festival and London Film Festival prior to its November 7th release by Pathé in the UK. Jessica will also be making her musical debut singing two tracks which will be featured on the upcoming soundtrack to the film set to be released on the 3 November 2008.
A glamorous American widow, Larita, marries a young Englishman, John, in the South of France. On the spur of the moment, they go to England to meet his parents; his mother, Veronica takes a strong dislike to their new daughter-in-law, while his father, Jim, finds something of a kindred spirit in Larita. A battle of wits ensues.
Easy Virtue is a very liberal adaptation of Noel Coward’s play. Director Stephan Elliot (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) has tried to make the film more contemporary and very distinct from the Merchant-Ivory school of film.
The story is set in the roaring twenties where John (Ben Barnes) from an aristocratic English family marries Larita (Jessica Biel), an American race driver, after a whirlwind romance in France. However his mother Veronica (Kristin Scott Thomas) is none too pleased while John’s father Jim (colin Firth) finds a soul mate in Larita. These relationships, including those with John’s sisters, make for a very intriguing and entertaining hour and a half, The acting, as could be expected from such a cast is uniformly excellent with perhaps Jessica Biel standing out a little more.
One of Stephan Elliot’s nice touches is an anachronistic use of such songs as Car Wash and Sex Bomb, done in a very twenties style. The addition of a hilarious “dog scene” is another nice touch. Fans of Noel Coward (and even Merchant-Ivory) won’t be disappointed.
See a more detailed review in http://www.futuremovies.co.uk/review.asp?ID=950