The Happy Prince
Panorama | Special Presentations
Actor Rupert Everett writes, directs and stars in this honest and powerfully empathetic chronicle of the last years of legendary Irish writer Oscar Wilde. After spending two years in prison for his homosexuality—"gross indecency" was the official conviction—Wilde exiled himself to Paris, where he continued his self-destructive lifestyle while living in penury. Buoyed only by occasional contact with old friends Reggie Turner (Colin Firth) and Robbie Ross (Edwin Thomas), and with his wife (Emily Watson) and two sons far away, he’s a desperately lonely man who assuages his pain with alcohol, drugs and a succession of young men… Everett was born to play Wilde, and his open, deeply felt film both honours his idol and conveys the essence of a man who, deprived of the things that make life worth living, maintained his ironic sense of humour until the end.
"Everett has made the film of his career. The Happy Prince is a heartbreaking gem… There’s so much to admire here. Everett has wrung every last penny out of a modest budget to evoke an enjoyably convincing sense of period and place… While this may be a film about how Wilde’s life—and genius—were cruelly curtailed by the stigma of his homosexuality, it’s also about lives lived, enduring friendships and the relentless passing of time."—Matthew Bond, Daily Mail
Classification: PG: Nudity; coarse language; violence; drug use