Helen Hunt is horribly miscast as a 1930’s infamous seductress on the prowl for vulnerable rich husbands. There’s not a moment in the film she doesn’t look and sound completely out of character for the role. Fortunately Scarlett Johansson is better suited for her performance. Still, most of the cast seems ill-placed. The film is based on the Oscar Wilde play “Lady Windermere’s Fan” which I have never seen. Of course, things are never what they appear to be throughout the film. While the dialogue contains the tradem…rk Wilde flair for wit, the plot simply doesn’t go anywhere. It’s a shame, really. The film had potential. The cinematography is very appealing. The period costumes and Italian locations make for a rich atmosphere that unfortunately nothing of import happens within. Even the stylized Wilde twist falls flat in the end.
A Good Woman is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 fitted nicely for your 16X9 screen. The overall image is colorful but somewhat soft, intended to capture the atmosphere of this period piece. The transfer almost works. The problem is there are far too many print specks and marks for such a recent print. The bit rate falls at a remarkably low 3mbps average, and that means almost constant compression artifact. There is little care shown for the original in this transfer. Black levels might have been pretty good if not for the already mentioned flaws. Nothing about this transfer outside of some of the color reproduction does anything to enhance this dull experience.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track works about as well as it needs to. While not anything approaching aggressive, the surrounds do capture the atmosphere well enough. Dialogue is always clear. The subtle score comes through when intended. Perhaps the sound is the best thing about this film.
There is a commentary track on this film. You won’t find much of interest here, and there are too many gaps where they say nothing at all. Most of it is the typical “My, didn’t that turn out nicely?” type of comment. The participants are Alan Greenspan (no, not that one) who produced and Mike Barker, the director.
Only a trailer.
The film is nothing more than a miscast romp. I doubt even Wilde fans will find this one much to get excited about. Sure, there’s a great deal of atmosphere, but in the end it just isn’t that interesting. About the only character we develop any sense of compassion for is Meg (Johansson), but the ending takes even that away from us. In short, the film is much ado about nothing. Don’t waste your time or you money on this “very poor sense of decorum”.
Special Features List
- Director and producer commentary