Review: Easy Virtue

Easy Virtue | Stephan Elliot, 2009

There are time when it seems that a movie has everything to make it memorable, such as a good director who has a distinctive style, nice sets, costumes, and cinematography, and good script, and a couple of actors that are among the best in their field. But then there is one thing that the movie relies on a lot, and that one thing turns out to be way below the standards that the things previously mentioned set for the movie. Easy Virtue suffers from this, but before mentioning the movie’s harbinger of doom, I’ll talk about the movie and the good things, but you already know what I’m going to talk about.

The movie is another “meet the parents” tale, except this one takes place in England post WWI. The parents here (Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas) are rich and, as always, are relying on the marriage of their kids for their future. One day, the eldest son (Ben Barnes) announces that he has married a woman he loves. His family is in shock for that was not meant to happen. So, he brings her to his house. To the demise of his mom, she is American and a race car driver. The usual war ensues.

Although the movie has a way-too-familiar plot, the script and the director makes it fresh. Stephan Elliot’s style fits the story, characters, and setting perfectly. Everything behind the scenes is also great. And finally, Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas just play their characters to perfection.

And now, the one thing…Yes it is Jessica Biel. I have always thought that anyone can give a good performance given the proper script and director. However, nothing could have made her give a good performance. The role requires charm, great line delivery, great facial expressions, but she just doesn’t have that. She doesn’t have the 1930s starlet quality that the role requires. Every time she spoke it sounded like she was reading from cue cards. Because of her, I didn’t like the movie. I guess everyone wasted their time and talent on this.

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