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The Happy Prince
DIRECTOR Rupert Everett
CAST Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan
A beautifully crafted and deeply felt tribute to Oscar Wilde from Rupert Everett, who writes, directs and stars as the great writer, ageing and living in exile in Naples and Paris.
Rupert Everett wrote, directed and stars in this deeply felt and beautifully acted tribute to Oscar Wilde. The disgraced writer is living in exile in Naples and Paris after being released from prison following his conviction for ‘gross indecency’. His eventful life is remembered with expertly interspersed flashbacks, while old and new friends support him through his final years. It is a role that Everett was born to play, bringing to Wilde a sense of ruined magnificence.
(2018 Germany / Belgium / UK / Italy 105 mins)
Everett plays Wilde as if the writer is a matinee idol gone to seed. The middle-aged bohemian retains traces of his old good looks but he has become jowly and overweight. He still has the ability to command a room. He is both more imposing physically and far wittier than anyone else in his circle. What Everett also conveys is Wilde’s yearning and sense of regret: his grief at his separation from his two sons and his child-like quality … One of the most admirable aspects of The Happy Prince is Everett’s refusal to provide a sanitised version of his subject. His Wilde is a subversive and contradictory figure who frequently behaves in a monstrous fashion. He is also perceptive, sensitive and a master storyteller. Everett makes him seem like a character in one of his own fairy tales, ultimately achieving grace and redemption through his own suffering. Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent
BBFC advice: Contains very strong language, strong nudity and drug misuse
Detailed advice from the BBFC (click on insight)