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(PG) 100 mins

Two husbands in fact, but neither of them are ideal; rather, one is an idol, the other simply idle. Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam) is a brilliant politician and perfect gentleman, blissfully wed to Lady Chiltern (Cate Blanchett) who idolises him. Sir Robert’s best friend, Lord Arthur Goring (Rupert Everett), is a womaniser and Edwardian London socialite whose devotion to the art of 'loafing’ precludes him taking anything seriously most particularly marriage, much to the consternation of both his father (John Wood) and Sir Robert's smitten sister, Mabel (Minnie Driver). However, when the scheming Mrs Cheveley (Julianne Moore) arrives in London to blackmail Sir Robert with a scandalous secret from his past, loafing is put on hold and Lord Goring comes to his friend's aid. Director Oliver Parker has made a fine job of adapting the play which, along with A Woman Of No Importance, established Oscar Wilde as a leading playwright. Ultimately, credit must go to Oscar and, in fact, there’s a nice homage to the great playwright during a scene in a theatre playing The Importance Of Being Earnest in which Wilde appears on stage to rapturous applause. The script’s

strength lies, unsurprisingly, in the dialogue all semantic acrobatics and droll commentaries and the film's cracking cast do justice to the archetypal Wildean


Everett and Moore have the juiciest roles as the cad and schemer who were once engaged. The scene in which they very nearly reunite while debating Sir Robert's future, from ’proposal to proposition’ as Mrs

Cheveley puts it, makes for crackling verbal foreplay.

Everett, for a long time out of favour with the British press who were unflinchingly critical of his early screen appearances, is particularly good. His ’comeback’, which

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Wilde woman: Minnie Driver in An Ideal Husband

began opposite Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding, continues apace with a role he slips into with consummate ease. Droll Wildean observations such as ’love of oneself is the beginning of a life-long affair' are delivered with much relish. These are complimented by a physical performance which combines swagger, grace and facial mannerisms, including eyebrow arching to rival Roger Moore. Everett really inhabits his role, turning in another scene-stealing performance that is a joy to watch, but one which never descends into caricature. (Miles Fielder)

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Season's greetings: Beatrice Romand and Alexia Portal in An Autumn Tale

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

(18) 84 mins a s: ‘fic‘r‘r'

Just as the world prepares to enter the new rnrllenniurn, British film censorship finally drags itself into the 20th century Not only has The Exorcist finally been allowed a video certificate (see Videos, page 77), but Tobe Hopper’s 1974 shocker The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has finally made rt -- uncot into a multiplex near you.

A new generation of horror fans brought up on the slick, self-referential rokiness of Scream will soon have the smiles wrped from their faces. Blown up onto the big screen, Chainsaw Massacre looks rough and raw; it plays down the gore, the acting wouldn’t wrn any Oscars; and it doesn’t have a single Irkeable character among the good or bad guys —~ in fact, our 'heroes' veer from the irritating to the obnoxious and back again. For these very reasons, it's a genuinely numbing and terrifying movre

The plot has a familiar ring to it: against a backdrop of radio reports about vandalised graveyards and an unheeded warning from a Wittering wrno, a group of kids travel to a broken-down house in the middle of nowhere Nearby they find another house filled wrth cannibalistic degenerates who pick off the cast one by one

After an uneaSy, drawn-out opening period, the film changes pace and becomes perhaps the most relentless slice of terror ever put on screen. Actress Marilyn Burns's screams go on and on untrl you'd expect her throat to be bleeding from the effort, Gunnar Hansen's Leatherface, stumbling about wrth the chainsaw of the title, is an unforgettable human monster who makes you wonder what further horror lurks behind his mask

But more than anything, it's Hooper's strange design details and eccentrically gross moments ~ the chicken feathers and animal corpses decorating the cannibal home, the corpse-like grandfather sucking the blood from Burns's fingertips -- that make this a profOundly unsettling experience. And one that really does get the best reaction from a fear-tilled crowd in a cinema (Alan Morrison)

a On general re/ease now

8&0 meets BBQ: Gunnar Hansen in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre