The last days of Oscar Wilde – and the ghosts that haunted them – are vividly evoked in Rupert Everett’s directorial debut, The Happy Prince. Building off his lauded stage portrayal of Wilde in David Hare’s The Judas Kiss, Everett gives a career-best performance as Wilde, physically and emotionally embodying the literary genius as he lives out his last days in exile in Europe. The film opens in Paris, where Wilde, penniless and in poor health, is still reeling after being imprisoned in England for his love affair with Lord Alfred Bosie Douglas (Colin Morgan). Out of prison but a pariah, Wilde swings between grief and a determination to wrest whatever pleasure and beauty he can from the time left. His body ailing and heavy, his mind spinning, he survives by falling back on the flamboyant irony and brilliant wit that defined him – Everett’s Wilde is tortured but determined to remain true to himself. His thoughts are filled with love and betrayal and permeated with those closest to him: Bosie, his literary agent Robbie Ross (Edwin Thomas), his great friend Reggie Turner (Colin Firth), and his estranged wife Constance (Emily Watson). As the film travels through Wilde’s final act and journeys from England to France to Italy, desire and loyalty face off, the transience of lust is laid bare, and the true riches of love are revealed.
ClubInk members in ACT, QLD, SA and WA will be receiving a double pass to this great new movie.
The Happy Prince is released in cinemas on April 4.