As its writer, director and star, The Happy Prince is undoubtedly a labour of love for Rupert Everett. The look at what happened to Oscar Wilde after his release from jail premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and it also screened at the Berlin Film Festival a couple of weeks ago. Sony Pictures Classics recently picked up distribution rights for North America and Latin America, and it will screen at the upcoming BFI: Flare London LGBT Film Festival.
We can now take our first look at the movie with a clip from the film, showing Everett as a broken Wilde, trying to escape his notoriety as perhaps the most famous ‘homosexual’ in the world. As the actor/director recently said, “I was always much more drawn to the fall of Oscar Wilde. I always found it a very romantic and tragic story. It’s one of the great stories of the end of the 19th century.”
Here’s its synopsis from the Sundance FIlm Festival: ‘Rupert Everett writes, directs, and stars in his moving debut feature, detailing the final three years (1897–1900) in the life of Oscar Wilde. Rich in period detail and eschewing the familiar narrative of the writer’s notorious trial and imprisonment on charges of indecency, this seldom-told story recounts Wilde’s life following his release from incarceration—a period encompassing some of his most profound writing and most intimate experiences.
‘Sequestered at a remote seaside hotel in France by faithful friends (played by Edwin Thomas and Colin Firth), a buoyant Wilde is soon restlessly traversing Europe under assumed names, beset by familiar, warring impulses: to reunite with his estranged wife (a radiant Emily Watson) or his former lover Sir Alfred “Bosie” Douglas (Colin Morgan), whose former provocations brought Wilde to ruin. Fading health, dwindling funds, and still more betrayals await Wilde, who relentlessly seeks love and creative outlets in whatever taverns and alleyways still welcome him. It’s here that Everett particularly shines, evoking the spirit of the once-celebrated fallen genius who finds divine light even in the darkest corners of life.’
Take a look at the clip below.