The Happy Prince

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

ANDY’S RAT­ING: In cin­e­mas on Friday

“I HAVE noth­ing to de­clare but my ge­nius,” Os­car Wilde al­legedly quipped while waltz­ing through New York Cus­toms.

If this is one of the rea­sons you have the fa­mous wit on your list of dream din­ner party guests, you should love Ru­pert Everett’s pas­sion project about Wilde’s fi­nal years.

If, how­ever, you think the cocky sod should stop show­ing off and hand over his duty free, you might find it a bit of slog.

Everett frames his drama with Wilde’s story of The Happy Prince, which he tells in flashback to his own chil­dren in Lon­don and to the young brother of a rent boy in Paris.

We also get a meaty sec­tion with Wilde fall­ing out with his smarmy lover Bosie (Colin Mor­gan) as they blow his al­lowance on booze and yet more rent boys in Naples.

What­ever you think of Wilde, there should be no ar­gu­ments about Everett’s per­for­mance. If he hadn’t wasted his best years fart­ing about with Madonna he would now be recog­nised as one of this na­tion’s finest liv­ing ac­tors.

Sadly, I’m less con­vinced by his tal­ents as a writer and di­rec­tor. His per­for­mance kept me watch­ing but a smarter script would have given me a rea­son to care.

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