Easy Virtue

A new review from the desk of The Movie Snob

Easy Virtue (C-). What could be more up The Movie Snob’s alley than a movie set in 1920s England and starring Kristin Scott Thomas (Gosford Park) as a snobbish Brit? Throw in Colin Firth (The Last Legion) as her war-damaged husband and Jessica Biel (The Illusionist) as the brazen American race-car driver who marries into the family, and the movie ought to work. But it just doesn’t. None of the characters is very sympathetic–not even Firth’s, who is clearly supposed to be. I guess we’re also supposed to root for Biel’s character, because she bothers to learn the servants’ names and because Thomas’s matriarch treats her so poorly, but I didn’t find her character likeable either. Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian), who plays Biel’s husband, is a total cipher. And, as my movie-going compadre pointed out, Biel’s dramatic speech at the end seems modern to the point of anachronism. I wonder whether it is really part of the original Noel Coward play. I doubt I will ever bother to find out. Skip it.

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