The last days of Oscar Wilde – and the ghosts that haunted them – are vividly evoked in Rupert Everett’s directorial debut. Everett gives a career defining performance as Wilde, physically and emotionally embodying the literary genius as he lives out his last days in exile in Europe. His body ailing and heavy, his mind spinning, he survives by falling back on the flamboyant irony and brilliant wit that defined him. As the film travels through Wilde’s final act and journeys through England, France and Italy, desire and loyalty face off, the transience of lust is laid bare, and the true riches of love are revealed.
The title of Oscar Wilde’s fairy tale “The Happy Prince” was not his subtlest use of irony, but as seen in Rupert Everett’s film that bears the same name, it was tragically apt. Peter Keough, Globe Correspondent
A new biopic from Wilde-enthusiast Rupert Everett is a lovely work of empathy, about a former toast of the town who was just toast at his shabby Paris hotel-room end. Everett writes, directs and stars in The Happy Prince, named after Wilde’s short story about the mystery of misery.
Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail
105 minutes Rated R