Possibly one of the more anticipated biographies of the decade, not only have we reached an age where once thought sordid taboos can be openly expressed but we have also have an actor at our disposal who not only physically resembles Wilde but has also been through similar scandals and tribulations due to his fantastic mind and eccentricities.
The movie starts Oscar Wilde giving a lecture in Colorado in 1882 despite his bizarre persona he is welcomed by the silver miners and his tour becomes a great success, on returning to the UK he marries his long-term sweetheart Constance Lloyd (Jennifer Ehle) and the young couple have two sons in quick succession. He is soon introduced to Robbie Ross (Michael Sheen) and then Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas (Jude Law) while discovering his homosexuality while dealing with a long suffering wife and raising children.
With a delicate approach this detailed account of Wilde discovering his sexuality is literally all the film covers. It seems obsessed with the man’s sexuality more than anything else. apart from a narrative of Fry reading The Selfish Giant which is an interesting choice there is hardly any mention of his works and no scenes of him hunched over books writing.. nothing is said about the man’s creativity but the lens here is zero’d in on his dick.. basically.
The narrative and subject aside the film is well acted and dressed beautifully, one of the downsides is the lack of imagination of in the later scenes after Wilde’s incarceration. Stephen Fry was clearly built for this role and while he adds finesse and charm to this deeply interesting character, the film itself is structured poorly, Empire having no discernible Direction, comes across as a cheap TV and film which doesn’t do his performance any justice. Overall I feel a great opportunity was wildly missed here.
R – Milk (2008)
L – Writer Biographies, Artist Biographies
A – How accurate do biographies have to be?
5s – Michael Sheen, Jude Law