An Ideal Husband (1999 film)

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An Ideal Husband
Ideal husband ver3.jpg
UK Theatrical release poster
Directed byOliver Parker
Written byOliver Parker
Based onAn Ideal Husband
by Oscar Wilde
Produced byBarnaby Thompson
Bruce Davey
Uri Fruchtmann
CinematographyDavid Johnson
Edited byGuy Bensley
Music byCharlie Mole
Distributed byPathé Distribution[1]
Release date
  • 16 April 1999 (1999-04-16)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£2,891,515 (in UK)[2]
$18,542,974 (total)

An Ideal Husband is a 1999 British film based on the 1895 play An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde. The film stars Jeremy Northam, Rupert Everett, Julianne Moore, Minnie Driver and Cate Blanchett. It was directed by Oliver Parker.

It was selected as the 1999 Cannes Film Festival's closing film.[3]


Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful government minister, well-off and with a loving wife. All this is threatened when Mrs Cheveley appears in London with damning evidence of a past misdeed. Sir Robert turns to his friend Lord Goring for help, an apparently idle philanderer and the despair of his father. Goring knows the lady of old and the plot to help his friend has unintended consequences.

The plot of the film differs from the original Wilde play in a number of key respects. The episode of Mrs Cheveley's lost bracelet was removed, and the twists at the end are made more complex by the introduction of a bet between Lord Goring and Mrs Cheveley, and Lord Goring's need to ask the permission of Sir Robert Chiltern to marry his sister, Miss Mabel Chiltern.



The film received positive reviews from critics. Paper Magazine called it a "Witty comedy". It received a positive review from Roger Ebert. Entertainment Weekly called it "Delightful". The New York Observer said it was "Immensely entertaining". On Rotten Tomatoes it has a positive review rating of 86% Fresh, based on 65 critics.[4]


Julianne Moore was nominated for the Chicago Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, and a Golden Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. Moore won the National Board of Review award for Supporting Actress for her performances.

Everett received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

The film was nominated for awards in three BAFTA categories: Oliver Parker for Best Adapted Screenplay, Caroline Harris for Best Costume Design, and Peter King for Best Make-up and Hair.[5]


  1. ^ "An Ideal Husband (1999)". BBFC. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b Alexander Walker, Icons in the Fire: The Rise and Fall of Practically Everyone in the British Film Industry 1984-2000, Orion Books, 2005 p. 273.
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: An Ideal Husband". Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  4. ^ "An Ideal Husband". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Film in 2000 | BAFTA Awards". Retrieved 28 August 2021.

External links[edit]