starring Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Judi Dench
screenplay by Oliver Parker, based on the play by Oscar Wilde
directed by Oliver Parker
by Walter Chaw In the always-risky practice of adaptating theatre for the silver screen, the first instinct usually has something to do with "expanding" a play by providing the characters backstory, followed fast by moving some of the dialogue into a different environment and/or pulling the source out of time to "modernize" it or to provide new resonance for a politicized piece. Richard Loncraine's Richard III and Julie Taymor's Titus are examples of affected adaptations that work; Michael Cacoyannis's The Cherry Orchard and Oliver Parker's The Importance of Being Earnest are examples that do not.