20 thoughts on “The Happy Prince (2018) Is Sad & Beautiful

  1. I stopped watching it after about 10 minutes. Upto now,I’d had some sympathy for Wilde, but it ended with seeing what he was doing in Paris.

  2. I appreciated the effort Rupert took in his portrayal, but it was very poignant. Oscar Wilde in a way gave of himself so much to his playgoing audience similarly like the ‘Happy Prince’ did in the Oscar Wilde story.
    If people had only accepted him for what he was, he might have come to see Bosie as he really was.
    I also found it troubling bc of his life in Paris.

    1. I agree. It’s easy to bash or adore Wilde, but Everett’s script obviously loves Wilde and still tries to see him clearly. Re. Constance Wilde: Her attitude may seem severe to 21st-century Western minds, but the poor woman put up with a lot from Oscar. After the trial, she had to change her surname to secure some privacy for herself and their two children.

      Something I find kind of astonishing is that Wilde’s only grandchild, Merlin Holland, is still among us, a talented keeper of Oscar’s flame: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2000/nov/24/classics.oscarwilde

      1. Well said. For all the popular talk of nuance, it’s incredibly easy to fall into casting people as heroes or villains only–was Wilde an incredible wit and oppressed for his sexuality, or someone destructive to himself and others? The answer seems to be that he was both, among a great many other things. Thanks for sharing the article about his grandson–quite interesting, as is the review at the end.

      2. I feel for Constance. She can’t have had an easy time dealing with Wilde’s sexuality and other foibles but to be humiliated before the entire world when the mess went public took it to a whole other level. She seems to have never completely lost affection, or at least sympathy with Oscar but I can see why she felt she had to distance herself and the children from him.
        She meant something to Wilde too it seems. I read that he visited her grave and was deeply hurt that she was buried under her pseudonym with no mention of their marriage.

  3. Interesting. Sounds like it was done with much care, and I’m glad it includes his wife (because sympathy for him shouldn’t overshadow her struggle or story either). Does it go right up to his death? I’m curious because I’ve heard stories of a deathbed conversion that would be another complicated piece to a complicated puzzle.

    1. The film goes up to Wilde’s death but doesn’t show his deathbed conversion, & I couldn’t find any interview with Everett about why / why not. Wonder if it was filmed & cut for time?

      1. Thanks. I also wonder if it was filmed; if they didn’t include any other religious aspects (apparently he wrote to a friary to see if he could stay there after prison?; they said no), then I would assume they didn’t include it. I can see why; it can be hard to represent religious belief authentically (honestly without making something wishy-washy, anti-religion, or all-about-religion), particularly when the person involved probably had very complex feelings and thoughts leading to that decision. And without exploring that, it could look very tacked on and maybe a bit tragic.

  4. Bosie’s flowing locks drove me to distraction, and not in a nice way. There are surprisingly few photos of him as a young man but they all show him with short hair. I don’t think Jude Law’s performance as Bosie in ‘Wilde’ will be bettered.

    1. I find it hard to imagine anyone other than Stephen Fry playing Wilde, and I loved Jude Law too. Will be interesting to compare!

  5. I watched it for Colin Morgan (although Colin Firth was nice to see), and I was conflicted. It was a beautifully shot film about a taboo topic of its time, but it was missing something.

  6. A snippet of useless information: Tom Wilkinson, who played the Catholic priest who administered the last rites to Oscar, also played the Marquess of Queensbury in ‘Wilde’!

    Totally OT, but a few years ago I discovered that a great-great aunt of mine was married to a nephew of Sir Alexander Dixie, the husband of Bosie’s aunt Lady Florence Douglas.

  7. Ok, firstly, I never heard of this film. Thanks to this post, I’m adding it to my must watch list. Oscar Wilde is so fascinating to me. Secondly, I cannot get over how Colin Morgan looks in these screen caps. I’m not generally drawn to him, but i those photos…oh my! (Fans self…) Thirdly, we must acknowledge that the actor sitting next to Duckface (I mean, Anna Chancellor as Lydia Arthbutnott) is Julian Wadham, who will always hold a tender spot in my heart for his role as Madox in The English Patient.

    Getting back to the film at hand, it looks very atmospheric. Also, the talented people involved are a draw, too. I find Rupert Everett’s performances to be pretty hit or miss. If you hadn’t highlighted the other actors involved, this film would probably be a “maybe” watch rather than a must watch. I mean, can anyone come close to Stephen Fry’s performance in Wilde?

    1. I thought nothing could touch Fry’s Wilde (tho Peter Egan in Lillie captures a certain side of young Wilde beautifully). But Everett digs deep into the old ruined Wilde here, which isn’t often seen. Now I’d like to watch both films back to back, it might give a fuller life story on film.

    2. Julian Wadham was also so elegant and handsome in “The Madness of King George.” I nurtured a crush on him for sometime.

  8. It was sad for me…as I love him and want him to be the character he was in the series about Lily Langham…which was wonderful. Also I read a bio on Constance and understand her pain…it is a shame he lived in such an inflexible era where being himself was against the law.

  9. As far as I can tell Bosie was a horrible human being and total waste of oxygen. But you can get away with a lot of you’re pretty.

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