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The Happy Prince (2018)

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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.

Director:

Rupert Everett

Writer:

Rupert Everett
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Popularity
1,388 ( 819)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Everett ... Oscar Wilde
Colin Firth ... Reggie Turner
Emily Watson ... Constance Wilde
Colin Morgan ... Alfred Bosie Douglas
Edwin Thomas ... Robbie Ross
Tom Wilkinson ... Fr Dunne
Anna Chancellor ... Mrs. Arbuthnott
Julian Wadham ... Top Hat
Béatrice Dalle ... Café Manager
Antonio Spagnuolo Antonio Spagnuolo ... Felice (as Antonio Spagnulo)
André Penvern ... Mr. Dupoirier
Franca Abategiovanni Franca Abategiovanni ... Felice's Mother
Thierry de Coster Thierry de Coster ... Henri The Waiter
Joshua McGuire ... Ambrose Smithers
Kit Lloyd Kit Lloyd ... Undergraduate
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | Belgium | Italy | Germany

Language:

English | Italian | French

Release Date:

10 October 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Happy Prince See more »

Filming Locations:

Bavaria, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€208,502 (Italy), 15 April 2018, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$38,886, 14 October 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$445,999, 18 November 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The interiors of Oscar Wilde's home in Italy were shot in Castle Thurnau in Bavaria, Germany. See more »

Goofs

Cuthbert Dunne (1869.10.4-1950) is played by 70 year old Tom Wilkinson. See more »


Soundtracks

The Boy I Love is Up In The Gallery
Performed by Rupert Everett
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User Reviews

 
Faded splendour
19 October 2018 | by turnedherbrainSee all my reviews

'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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