November 02, 2018

The Happy Prince is in select theaters on November 2nd, 2018.

The last destitute years of Oscar Wilde's life are presented with heartbreaking grimness along with flashes of his former life when he ruled London via the stage with his witty plays. His infatuation and affair with Alfred "Bosie" Douglas (Colin Morgan) followed by being accused of sodomy by his lover's angry father, the Marquise of Queensberry, results in a public trial and imprisonment.

After two years of hard labor Oscar Wilde played by Rupert Everett who is also the director and writer is released and exiled to France. He loses his shattered wife (Emily Watson), his sons and his country. The movie goes back and forth through different phases of his life as the sickly elder man hallucinates about his past life while on his deathbed in a seedy Paris dwelling which passes for his room.

With his face covered in prosthetics and his body bloated up, Rupert Everett brings to life one of the great literary giants to life showing him in the depths of despair but also manages to show flashes of the witty and charming man he once was.

The happy prince does have its downsides. The most obvious being the dialogues, which are unfortunately quite awful at times. Another issue lies in the supporting cast. Bosie is the only side character that makes a serious impact. Emily Watson has about two minutes of screen time. The same goes for Tom Wilkinson and, to a lesser extent, Colin Firth. Their characters are almost entirely wasted.

However, The Happy Prince never quite coheres into an effective portrait of a complicated and contradictory literary figure. Instead it plays as a collection of scenes that are often so broad as to be almost abstract, while crowded with minutiae that obscure what might otherwise be strong thematic statements.

Rating: 2 out of 5

WillWill (Contributor) has called many places home but now resides in Michigan. An Air Force veteran and avid movie goer who enjoys indie movies just as much as major blockbusters. He is also a technology enthusiast.
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