The untold story of the last days in the tragic times of Oscar Wilde, a person who observes his own failure with ironic distance and regards the difficulties that beset his life with detachment and humor.
Juliet, Naked is the story of Annie (the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan) and her unlikely transatlantic romance with once revered, now faded, singer-songwriter, Tucker Crowe, who also happens to be the subject of Duncan's musical obsession.
In a cheap Parisian hotel room Oscar Wilde lies on his death bed. The past floods back, taking him to other times and places. Was he once the most famous man in London? The artist crucified by a society that once worshipped him? Under the microscope of death he reviews the failed attempt to reconcile with his long suffering wife Constance, the ensuing reprisal of his fatal love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas and the warmth and devotion of Robbie Ross, who tried and failed to save him from himself. Travelling through Wilde's final act and journeys through England, France and Italy, the transience of lust is laid bare and the true riches of love are revealed. It is a portrait of the dark side of a genius who lived and died for love.Written by
Beta Film GmbH
'The Happy Prince' is very much Rupert Everett's film - he scripted, plays the central role and directs. Everett has spent nearly a decade bringing his passion project to the screen, including extracting promises from friends such as Colin Firth and Emily Watson, that they would appear in his film. The drive and determination behind that has got to be admired.
Appropriately for a film which was financed by numerous backers, the story depicts Everett as Oscar Wilde, during his years of exile and insolvency following his imprisonment. Forced to live incognito on the European continent, he's aided and abetted by still-loyal friends or former lovers, including Colin Firth, a quietly impressive Edwin Thomas, and the duplicitous, sometimes shrill Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas (Colin Morgan). More reluctantly, Oscar's estranged wife Constance (Emily Watson) initially sends him funds.
Much has been said of Rupert Everett's performance - he's played Wilde on stage before and has also starred in film adaptations of Oscar Wilde plays. As Everett has talked about in interviews, the Irish playwright and poet, punished with imprisonment for his relations with another man, has since become an icon for the gay liberation movement.
Oscar's eternal downfall seems to be Bosie, who initially appears in the central segment of the film, when Oscar reunites with his former lover and they live in straitened circumstances, in a rat-ridden waterside villa in Naples. This resplendent but crumbling lakeside house is an apt setting for the pair's sojourn. The audience's sympathy throughout is very much with Oscar rather than Bosie, who is - as official reviews have noted - depicted as petulant and childish.
The film is acted sublimely by an ensemble cast. Photographed by the Irish cinematographer John Conroy, the on-location scenes are beautifully lit, whether they're decadent or destitute settings.
I definitely recommend you watch the film if and when you can - it's currently on a limited run in US movie theaters. It's worth it to find out about an untold period at the end of Oscar Wilde's life, once the gilt has faded and cracked, and the bon vivant is tarnished.
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