A Man Of No Importance Review
By Christopher Null
Long-awaited and highly-acclaimed, A Man of No Importance has crawled into town for a limited run. In the film, Albert Finney plays Alfie Byrne, a 1960 Dublin bus director who is obsessed with Oscar Wilde and directs an annual staging of one of his plays with a cast composed of his bus's passengers.
As if that weren't enough, Alfie, stricken by "the love that dare not speak its name," is constantly at war with his emotions and his sexuality, and he is painfully infatuated with the bus's driver, Robbie (Rufus Sewell). As the annual play draws near, a new rider, Adele (well-played by Tara Fitzgerald) shows up, and Alfie decides to cast her as the virginal lead in Wilde's controversial Salome.
Meanwhile, Alfie has to deal with his sister (Brenda Fricker) and his friend (Michael Gambon), a butcher, who both disapprove of the play. Together, these two bumble around in some truly inane scenes as if they were the Two Stooges, constantly trying to foil Alfie's plans.
The film focuses on the scandal the "blasphemous" play causes in the community, and as Alfie's homosexuality is exposed, the film slowly melds into a running commentary on sex and love. It's a long time coming, though. The slow pace allows for plenty of character development from Finney, but aside from a few jokes that fall flat and ex-Catwoman Eartha Kitt's haunting rendition of "Let's Fall in Love," there's not much else of substance.
Unfortunately, a couple of interesting characters does not a great film make. The picture does make some interesting points about life, love, and happiness, but in the end, it's only average at best, and the film's cutesy title belies a little of what may really be underneath.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Wednesday 1st February 1995
Box Office Worldwide: 953
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Production compaines: Majestic Films International, BBC Films, Little Bird
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Fresh: 11 Rotten: 2
Cast & Crew