27 June 2018 | MOscarbradley
Everett's Oscar is an Oscar-worthy performance
Rupert Everett was born to play Oscar Wilde, at least the older Wilde, (Everett is now 59). I'd already seen him play Wilde on stage, magnificently, in David Hare's "The Judas Kiss"; now he has written and directed the film "The Happy Prince" which deals in large part, (it's mostly told in flashback), with the period after his release from Reading Gaol. He, of course, takes on the role of Wilde once again and gives the kind of performance that should get him an Oscar of a different kind.
This is no vanity project but one full of passion and love of his subject. He gives us an Oscar that is vain, glorious and in the throes of the most terrible pain; this is an Oscar warts and all. He dominates every frame of the picture but has also assembled a superb supporting cast. Both Colin Morgan as Bosie and Edwin Thomas as Robbie Ross are splendid but so too are Emily Watson as Constance, Colin Firth as Reggie Turner, John Standing as his doctor and Tom Wilkinson as the priest who gives him the last rites. These may amount to nothing more than cameos but what glorious cameos they are. This is an actor's piece and no mistake.
However, for a work that is primarily literary and for a first-time director Everett also displays a very keen visual eye. This is a handsome period piece but far from a stuffy one. Everett manages to capture the flavour of Oscar's rise and fall beautifully. Here is a film that is heartbreakingly sad and strangely uplifting at the same time, a real testament to Wilde's genius, (it's certainly the best Wilde movie to date), and one of the best LGBT-themed films of recent times. Unmissable.