A neat assembly of the expected clip, spit and polish of this dressy sub-genre (virtually a whole for British filmmaking). It services the feel of the novel well enough but lacks it's satiric bite. Not a damp squib, but hardly a sparkling and spontaneous cocktail hour in it's too careful identikit manner. Rather like waiting for London buses, you know another one of these will be along in a moment.
As adaptations go, it is meticulous, and a recognisable ensemble cast give it a sense of gravitas. It wasn't an immersive experience, but it was objectively commendable. The audience for this is more for fans of Merchant Ivory films. Well worth a watch to see Fry's fresh directorial efforts.
Not sure whether the idea of turning the book into a film is where the error lies, or the script. Or both. A cast like this should be able to shine but they're trapped in foppish, flat non-clever Oscar Wildeisms.
Stephen Fry assembles one hell of a cast, and gives many of them at least one or two great moments, but this is ultimately a bit too light and frothy and reliant on one coincidence too many to ever be a high priority. It's a mildly amusing way to waste some time though.