Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
It's SWITCH's 8th anniversary! Click here now to join the celebrations and win huge prizes!x
review, The Happy Prince, The, Happy, Prince, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas, John Standing, Tom Wilkinson, Béatrice Dalle, Anna Chancellor, Julian Wadham, Rupert Everett film rating

THE HAPPY PRINCE

★★

WHIMSICAL WILDE’S WOEFUL WASHOUT

FESTIVAL FEATURE
LATEST REVIEWS
By Brent Davidson
17th March 2019

'The Happy Prince' details the later half of the life of illustrious British playwright Oscar Wilde, following him into his exile to Europe after being convicted as a sodomite and serving two years of prison as a sentence. Now this is not the Oscar Wilde we know - charming and funny, clever and outrageous. This Oscar Wilde has faced the reality of his situation and is, though still brilliant, much more subdued.

I don't think Rupert Everett makes any secret of the fact he loves Oscar Wilde. He's gone full Kevin Costner and written, directed and stars in 'The Happy Prince', and though at times it's charming, feels a little bit fan fiction-y. It's an interesting time in Wilde's life to examine; after the fame and notoriety, what happens to the once-grand man. However, if you don't know too much about Wilde's previous life, you arrive at a time where things might be a bit confusing. It's not entirely unfollowable, but it's definitely not your average "start from nothing, rise to fame" biopic.

'THE HAPPY PRINCE' TRAILER

As you'd expect with a BBC period piece, the cream of the British crop appears in 'The Happy Prince' with Colin Firth, Emily Watson and Colin Morgan supporting Everett. It's clearly all about Wilde, and thusly Everett, who's performance is up to standard, but there is just not the spark that pushes it into masterpiece.

It really ends up feeling like a slightly higher budget made-for-TV movie.

We are living in the golden age of TV, and perhaps 'The Happy Prince' would have benefitted from the longer format and the ability to really give us the full details of Wilde's rise and fall. I found at times the cinematography to be quite jarring. I completely understand trying to capture a sense of live performance and the stage, but sadly there is something that becomes inauthentic with the way the camera moves. This, coupled with the sometimes slapped-together editing, makes for a less coherent visual experience than is warranted.

It really ends up feeling like a slightly higher budget made-for-TV movie.

The cultural importance of the film can not be overlooked either. Wilde is a beacon of queer culture, and to have been actively sentenced for his sexuality is something that a younger generation cannot begin to fathom. Having spent two years in prison for his "crimes" and falling so far from grace, he was never the same person. This persecution is something that should never be forgotten, and is a reminder that even those considered elite were not exempt from such scrutinies.

Clearly a passion project for Everett, 'The Happy Prince' is a faithful approximation of the last dark days of Oscar Wilde's life. Whether or not you can dedicate a couple of hours to your life to it or not is another thing, but if you were my grandmother on a Sunday afternoon and this was on the ABC, I guarantee she'd watch it and afterwards say "Well, that was lovely."*

* Full disclosure - she would have likely slept through most of it, but this is less about the film and more about the woman.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 04/04/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 41m
CAST: Rupert Everett
Colin Firth
Emily Watson
Colin Morgan
Edwin Thomas
John Standing
Tom Wilkinson
Béatrice Dalle
Anna Chancellor
Julian Wadham
DIRECTOR: Rupert Everett
PRODUCER: Sébastien Delloye
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
SWITCH's 8th Anniversary - Come celebrate with us and take home a huge prize pack!
TRENDINGWIN SWITCH'S 8TH ANNIVERSARYCome celebrate with us and take home a huge prize pack!
The Angry Birds Movie 2 - A fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventure for the whole family
TRENDINGWIN THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2A fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventure for the whole family
Freaks - A post-apocalyptic sci-fi mystery
TRENDINGWIN FREAKSA post-apocalyptic sci-fi mystery
Finding Farideh - An emotional & moving documentary for Iran's Oscar submission
TRENDINGFINDING FARIDEHAn emotional & moving documentary for Iran's Oscar submission
Playing with Fire - Put out this flaming mess
TRENDINGPLAYING WITH FIREPut out this flaming mess
Marriage Story - Simply extraordinary
TRENDINGMARRIAGE STORYSimply extraordinary
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
The Queen's Corgi - Barking up the wrong tree
TRENDINGTHE QUEEN'S CORGIBarking up the wrong tree
The Wild Goose Lake - Supremely stylish neon-noir
TRENDINGTHE WILD GOOSE LAKESupremely stylish neon-noir
What Will Become Us - The man behind an iconic Australian brand
TRENDINGWHAT WILL BECOME USThe man behind an iconic Australian brand
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
Ask Dr Ruth - A documentary on 90th birthday parties, Nazi Germany and sex
TRENDINGASK DR RUTHA documentary on 90th birthday parties, Nazi Germany and sex
Frozen 2 - Elsa and Anna return with the magic (mostly) intact
TRENDINGFROZEN 2Elsa and Anna return with the magic (mostly) intact
God of the Piano - A tale that tickles the ivories
TRENDINGGOD OF THE PIANOA tale that tickles the ivories
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
The Irishman - Kissing Scorsese’s ring (again)
TRENDINGTHE IRISHMANKissing Scorsese’s ring (again)
The Addams Family - They're altogether boring, the Addams Family
TRENDINGTHE ADDAMS FAMILYThey're altogether boring, the Addams Family
Safe Spaces - Emotional family drama weighed down by problematic sub-plot
TRENDINGSAFE SPACESEmotional family drama weighed down by problematic sub-plot
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan - Close to home
TRENDINGDANGER CLOSE: THE BATTLE OF LONG TANClose to home
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us