It’s a match made in heaven, even for the most sophisticated of thirsty anglophiles — the smoldering wit of Rupert Everett and the genteel humility of Colin Firth. After making their film debuts together in the 1984 gay classic “Another Country,” these two esteemed actors have reunited for the Oscar Wilde biopic “The Happy Prince.” Everett makes his directorial debut with a bittersweet melodrama about the beloved playwright and satirist’s final days, which he spent in exile in Paris after serving a two-year prison sentence for “indecency.”
In his C+ review of the film out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “Anyone expecting Wildean banter will be sorely disappointed — think more of an autobiographical spin on ‘The Portrait of Dorian Gray’ than ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ — but it’s Everett’s formidable investment in the role that rescues the movie from being a total letdown. Nevertheless, “The Happy Prince” largely amounts to a bland rumination on Wilde’s lesser-known decline.”
With a script by Everett, the actor’s passion project also stars Emily Watson as Wilde’s wife, Coin Morgan as his young lover Alfred “Bosie” Douglas, and Edwin Thomas as his literary executor Robbie Ross. Tom Wilkinson and Anna Chancellor also make appearances.
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Sony Pictures Classics will release “The Happy Prince” in select US theaters on October 5. Check out the latest trailer below.