• Publication date: January 26, 2010

An Ideal Husband An Ideal Husband

Sir Robert Chiltern and his wife, Lady Chiltern, are hosting a dinner party ...

Sir Robert Chiltern and his wife, Lady Chiltern, are hosting a dinner party at their fashionable house at Grosvenor Square. Among their many distinguished guests are Sir Robert’s sister, Mabel and her suitor, the dapper bachelor Lord Goring. When the arrival of Mrs. Cheveley is suddenly announced, her hosts receive her coolly. She seizes on an opportunity to corner Sir Robert and tells him she has uncovered a letter from her dead mentor, Baron Arnheim, to Sir Robert, revealing how the Baron had tipped him off about the British government’s impending purchase of shares in the Suez Canal. It was this tip that Robert made his considerable fortune. Fearing personal and political ruin, he agrees to reverse his position and voice his public support for a dubious canal scheme in Argentina. When Lady Chiltern—ignorant of the blackmail scheme—discovers Robert’s, she is alarmed to find her ‘ideal husband’ taking such a morally reprehensible position. After hearing out his wife, Sir Robert agrees to back down, and he inwardly accepts his eventual ruin. Meanwhile, Lord Goring has come upon a diamond brooch that he had given to someone many years before. He asks Mabel to hold on to it, in case anyone returns to retrieve it. He then goes to Robert, urging him to fight Mrs. Cheveley. He reveals to him how they were once engaged to be married. It seems that with the help of Lord Goring, there may yet be a possibility for Sir Robert to avoid the inevitable. The film is based on the original 1895 stage play of the same name, which was authored by British playwright Oscar Wilde at the height of his fame. Both Rupert Everett and Julianne Moore were given Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively in a Comedy or Musical.