The Happy Prince

In his directorial debut, Rupert Everett creates a poignant portrait of the turbulent last few years of Oscar Wilde’s life

Film Review by Joseph Walsh | 07 Jun 2018
  • The Happy Prince
Film title: The Happy Prince
Director: Rupert Everett
Starring: Rupert Everett, Colin Morgan, Emily Watson, Edwin Thomas, Tom Wilkinson
Release date: 15 Jun
Certificate: 15

Written, directed by and starring Rupert Everett, The Happy Prince offers up a beautifully crafted and quietly majestic portrait of the final years of Oscar Wilde’s life in exile.

Following his scandalous relationship with Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas (Morgan), Wilde is living down and out in Paris away from his estranged wife (Watson) and children. He has few acquaintances to call on, save for his literary executor Robbie Ross (Thomas) and friend Reggie Turner (Firth). Living in and out of absinthe joints, we watch as he regales local street urchins with tales that recall happier days when he was the toast of London.

Taking its title from Wilde’s collection of children’s fables, the short story becomes a metaphor for the playwright’s life, capturing his sorrow at falling from grace after serving a prison sentence in Reading Gaol for “gross indecency”. Told with a non-linear approach, Everett pours his heart and soul into this directorial debut, with tremendous results. [Joseph Walsh]

Released by Lionsgate