Easy Virtue

Easy Virtue

2008 (UK) 97 min Comedy

Director
Stephan Elliot
    Cast
  1. Kristin Scott Thomas
  2. Jessica Biel
  3. Colin Firth

  4. Sales Agent
    Ealing Studios

      Links
    1. www.sonyclassics.com/easyvirtue
    2. IMDB Entry
    3. Trailer

    Comments
    Have you seen it and what did you think? Please leave a comment

SYNOPSIS

A glamorous independent American woman, played by beautiful US actress Jessica Biel, falls in love with a dashing English soldier and enters into a spirited battle of wits with Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) her disapproving new mother-in-law. This 1920s period romantic comedy also stars Colin Firth (Mamma Mia!), and is based on the play by Noel Coward. Easy Virtue fizzes with droll humour, pithy observations on the class system and some brilliantly acidic one-liners. It’s wall-to-wall wit on a grand scale.

INTEREST PIECE:

Easy Virtue.  A rich blend of the biggest British names.

Easy Virtue is a sumptuous adaptation of a play written in 1924 by one of the greatest names in British playwriting, Noel Coward. A well-known theatre critic once characterized the play in a nutshell, proudly calling it a  “A savage attack on the hypocrisy of the early 1920s.” and “a psychological study of sexual repression, guilt and revenge.”

The result is a hilarious and spicy drama that incorporates class warfare, cultural warfare and the one-upmanship associated with the British stereotype of mother-in-laws who meddle.

Adapting Noel Coward for modern times.

Easy Virtue has all the elements of a British period drama, but it pulls the carpet out from under your feet, with an injection of a large dose of irreverence, unusual special effects and a killer soundtrack made by BAFTA-winning composer Marius de Vries (Moulin Rouge, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet).

Martin Kenzie, director of photography also added his touch; “We’ve tried to give it a modern feel with some energetic camera moves while trying to maintain some kind of period look and glossing it to bring it up to date a bit.”

Stephan Elliott admits that he was probably the most unlikely person to be directing and scripting a Noel Coward adaptation – which gives it even more of a lift; “Period films really weren’t for me; I don’t think I have ever sat through an entire period film in my life! … I read it and thought, OK what’s in this? And that little sense of rebellion that’s in the piece, specifically with a modern girl like Larita being dragged into a period film and slowly going mad…is where I found myself as a writer.”

Seeing British Culture from the outside-in.

The arrival of the American girl Larita (Jessica Biel), as the new wife of John Whittaker (Ben Barnes) gives the film’s audience a refreshing and critical way of looking at post-Victorian British society with new eyes.

Before working on the film, actress Jessica Biel had never really been to England, so she got a real sense of what Larita’s life might be like. She describes the appeal of working on her first British film:  “When I read the script what I liked most was the Noel Coward repartee….and I loved the idea of playing an American amidst this whole world I didn’t really understand, like the English traditions and customs; trying to get my head around the English ‘rhyming slang’; doing certain things at certain times and

places – and how proper it should all be. It is really funny and helped with that slight feeling of alienation.”

The best of British acting.

Creating a quintessentially British family that live in a stately home, complete with a butler (Kris Marshall), Easy Virtue takes the cream of the crop in British actors and throws them all into one rich mix.

If you ask anyone in Britain to name some of the biggest British films in the past 10 or so years, they might mention Bridget Jones’ Diary, Four Weddings and Funeral, Love Actually, The English Patient and perhaps Gosford Park. Easy Virtue is a pithy blend of acting from big names from these like Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Love Actually, The Girl with the Pearl Earring) as the head of the household;  Kristin Scott Thomas (The Other Boleyn Girl, The English Patient, Gosford Park, Four Weddings and a Funeral) as the stoic but neurotic mother-in-law, and Ben Barnes (Stardust, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) as the American arrival’s new husband.

REVIEWS
Daily Mirror

Screen International

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

www.youtube.com

2 Comments

  1. Pakhi Bagai
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    I saw this movie today and it was mind-blowing. I don’t really like Jessica Biel as an actress and I am not sure what Mr. Stephen Elliot did to her, but he managed to get the absolute best out of her. Or maybe she was inspired by class acts – Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin Firth. Kris Marshall is an absolute delight to watch.
    Thank you M. Elliot – you make me want to read Noel Coward’s play. I love the layers you slowly unraveled in each character. I was always left wondering what Larita is going to do next. Was hugely happy to see the end. This would be Biel’s best character to date in my mind.

  2. Pakhi Bagai
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I saw this movie today and it was mind-blowing. I don’t really like Jessica Biel as an actress and I am not sure what Mr. Stephen Elliot did to her, but he managed to get the absolute best out of her. Or maybe she was inspired by class acts – Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin Firth. Kris Marshall is an absolute delight to watch.
    Thank you Mr. Elliot – you make me want to read Noel Coward’s play. I love the layers you slowly unraveled in each character. I was always left wondering what Larita is going to do next. Was hugely happy to see the end. This would be Biel’s best character to date in my mind.

One Trackback

  1. [...] With Love Skip to content WelcomeFilmsAngelBrideshead RevisitedGenovaIn the LoopMan On WireRageEasy VirtueGlorious 39NewsAboutPartners & SponsorsUK Trade & InvestmentUK Film Council11th Mumbai Film [...]

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*