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The Importance of Being Earnest

Charlie Mole

Inveterate stage and screen director Oliver Parker followed up his 1999 adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband” with this even better 2002 Wilde adaptation – a breezy all-star updating of the classic play featuring Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Wilkinson, and Judi Dench.

For his third collaboration with Oliver Parker, composer Charlie Mole channeled several decades of jazz into a wryly joyous concoction perfectly tuned to the wit and tenor of Wilde’s memorable aristocratic farce. It’s a free-flowing effort that drifts liberally from ragtime to Kurt Weill to big band and swing with even a bit of Brazilian Samba thrown in for good measure. Like Wilde himself, the rule of thumb here seems to be if it’s fun, clever, and just a little bit naughty, go with it. Stars Everett and Firth even get in on the act with the appropriately “earnest,” if enjoyably (and intentionally) off-key gentlemen’s duet "Lady Come Down." Joyous and timeless.
The Importance of Being Earnest
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