Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1h 45m
Rupert Everett writes, directs, and stars in a moving study of the last years of Oscar Wilde.
Deviating from previous renderings, the film limits the great writer and witticist's more famous years - including his success in stage and society, his mortifying trial and exposure as a homosexual, and his subsequent ordeal in prison - to flashbacks, focusing instead on his wandering exile in Europe that followed.
During this time, Wilde's destruction only continues, thanks to both continued English tourist homophobia and his own damaging and unchecked fondness for alcohol and Bosie, his self-absorbed lover.
Despite the grim nature of this downward spiral, Everett never loses grip on the great man's redeeming levity and invention, keeping him as a sardonic satirist and a transcendent storyteller even at his lowest ebb.
Although Wilde's decline monopolises the action, pathos is also provided by Constance, Wilde's forlorn wife, played by Emily Watson, and his ignored advisor, Reggie Turner, played by Colin Firth. Everett creates a thorough portrait of a titanic, self-destructive figure, which like the man himself, generates both sadness and humour without making either seem incongruous.
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