Opening 15 Dec 2005
Robert (Mark Umbers) and Meg (Scarlett Johansson) Windermere are newlyweds vacationing at a high-society resort on the Italian Riviera of Amalfi. For the most part, they are the talk of the town, because they are truly in love and Mr. Windermere married an outsider – an American. The aristocratic society, having nothing better to do than party and interfere, targets the young Windermeres as fair game. Lord Darlington (Stephen Campbell Moore) takes a fancy to Meg’s innocence and preys on her naivety. The seductive and clever Mrs. Erlynne (Helen Hunt) is no better and endeavors to confront Meg with undisclosed information that would damage her image of her past. To cover her bases, Mrs. Erlynne is secretly making rendezvous with Robert and Lord Augustus (Tom Wilkinson). The twists and turns of the whimsical gossip trail has left Meg shocked and disappointed at her husband, not to mention his arrogant friends. To avoid further humiliation, Meg crosses the scandalous trail that brings closure for everyone, including the disappearance of The Fan.
Director Mike Barker and screenplay writer Howard Himelstein have developed a rather stylish adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play, Lady Windermere’s Fan. Barker explained to the audience during the Hamburg Film Festival that Shakespeare and Wilde are his two role models in storytelling because they have produced some of the most creative works, and their efforts always share a message. He explained that Wilde’s message in Lady Windermere’s Fan is that gossip destroys lives. He noted that this is one tragedy that we can choose to avoid by learning to respect one another more so that we build-up and encourage, not destroy. Barker’s choice for the cast, the setting and the music all worked well together for his 1930s period-piece adaptation. (Karen Pecota)