FIve Reasons Why The Oscar Wilde Biopic The Happy Prince is Unmissable
Rupert Everett stars as Oscar Wilde. Rupert Everett wrote the movie. Rupert Everett directed the movie. If somebody told us that Rupert Everett made all the costumes, cooked the crew’s lunch every day, and drove everyone to and from the set, we’d probably believe them! This is a passion project to the nth degree, and it’s impossible not to be impressed by the scale of his achievements…
It’s a film about the last days of the legendary writer, so we don’t think we need to stick a spoiler alert in here when we tell you that Wilde passes away. The sorrow and sadness of his last years, and his demise, are captured in truly touching fashion; for a man so often connected with witty banter and joyous humour, the film succeeds in laying bare an altogether darker side to his existence – and is all the more powerful for it.
That, of course, is not to say that the film is without its uplifting moments – on the contrary, in fact, there are chinks of light to be found throughout! Whether it’s his loyal friends who remain true until the last, his razor-sharp mind which remains unblunted, or the flashbacks to the seminal triumphs of his decorated career, there are consistent reminders of the heroic figure that Wilde once cut; whether that makes his hardship even more sad is for you to judge…
THE EYE FOR DETAIL
While obviously drawing from real life, Everett had the freedom to create any number of conversations, encounters and set pieces for the purposes of the movie – and didn’t he do well?! From slick references to some of Wilde’s most famous lines, to impeccably chosen glimpses into his meagre existence in later life, just about everything looks and feels like an accurate biopic; given the aforementioned obsession Everett had as far as its creation was concerned, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised!
POWER IN THE PRESENT
Wilde’s struggles were largely caused by his imprisonment for “gross indecency”. While the exact details of his incarceration and ostracisation may seem grotesque in this day and age, it certainly rang true with Everett – and, as the star said himself, might well sound familiar to some minority viewers today. To bring the turn of the 20th century to life is no mean feat; to do so in a fashion that offers an arresting mirror of present day is astonishing...
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