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FilmThe Happy Prince

Tuesday December 11th at 9:10 PM

Cinecenta

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Rupert Everett · UK · 2018 · 105 mins · PG

Rupert Everett turns his fascination with Oscar Wilde, the 19th-century Irish poet and playwright who was persecuted and jailed for “gross indecency with men” into a film of righteous anger, touching gravity, and wicked Wildean wit. Having played the literary lion on stage, Everett shows a kinship with the role that goes beyond an openly gay actor playing a gay icon. This is award-caliber acting.

The Happy Prince, the title taken from a Wilde children’s’ story about suffering and transcendence, concerns the author’s last days of exile in Europe. His jail time — two years of hard labor — clearly broke him.

The Happy Prince focuses on Wilde’s unwise reunion with Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas (Colin Morgan), the pretty boy whose father denounced the celebrated author as a sodomite, causing Wilde to bring on a losing charge of libel and his own eventual downfall. There’s also his literary executor and former lover Robbie Ross (Edwin Thomas), whose jealousy of Bosie is boundless. Steadier, support comes from novelist Reggie Turner, slyly played by The King’s Speech Oscar winner Colin Firth, whose association with Everett goes back to 1984’s Another Country.

In the end, The Happy Prince makes its strongest mark as a heartfelt salute to Wilde from an actor and filmmaker who was born to play him. --Rolling Stoneā€œGives debuting director and writer/star Rupert Everett a trifecta career high. Film Journal International"Rupert Everett is sensational!" The ListCast Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Emily Watson