Wilde, Wilde Movie Review, Movie Review, Film Review
 
Michael A. Maynez   photo

"Wilde"

The trials and tribulations of Oscar Wilde, playwright and novelist, whose wit has not been matched by other writers, is one that has had a resurgence of many colors.  What with a play on Broadway, “Gross Indecency”, and everyone wanting to play this man of letters is valid passport to his many misadventures.  Stephen Fry, best known for his comedy in “Jeeves and Wooster”, portrays him in this movie simply titled “Wilde”.  He is dramatic with undertones of joviality which is a new layer to the portray of Wilde’s trials.  His only crime being that of homosexuality.   That this movie handles the subject so well is a plus for intelligent moviegoers.

Michael Sheen as Robert Ross, a friend and follower of the famed Oscar Wilde, and the one that really introduced him into the gay life gives a performance with deep understandings.  Jude Law plays “Bosie”, Lord Alfred Douglas, the real young lover of Oscar Wilde and his downfall.  Jude Law finally has a role to match his talent.  He was the hustler in Clint Eastwood’s “Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil”, but that movie didn’t let him realize what “Wilde” does, neither did “Gattaca”. So it is exciting that they finally found someone to play the role of “Bosie” to the hilt.

Jennifer Ehle plays Wilde's wife the ever enduring matron, who bore him two children and put up with his buggery, which the English courts couldn’t. Vanessa Redgrave, as Wilde’s mother, turns in a solid performance, however her presence recently in so many small roles of the same ilk are disturbing only because she is such a great talent and is wasted in this small roles.  It is Stephen Fry’s movie and his portrayal leaves marks beyond a hypocritical society.  Directed by Brian Gilbert with a sure hand on the subject matter.  It is rated “R” for its buggery and nudity, as the English are so fond of saying.
 

Reference:
Wilde
Sony Pictures Classics
with:

  • Stephen Fry ----------- as Oscar Wilde
  • Jude Law ------------- as Lord Alfred (Bosie) Douglas
  • Vanessa Redgrave ---- as Speranza, Wilde's Mother
  • Jennifer Ehle ---------- as Constance Lloyd
  • Tom Wilkinson ------- as Lord Queensberry
  • Gemma Jones -------- as Lady Queensberry
  • Judy Parfitt ----------- as Lady Mount-Temple
  • Michael Sheen ------- as Robbie Ross
  • Zoe Wanamaker ----- as Ada Leverson
  • Directed by: Brian Gilbert
    Produced by: Peter Samuelson, Marc Samuelson
    Edited by: Michael Bradsell
    Production designer: Maria Djurkovic
    Costume designer: Nic Ede
    Director of Photography: Martin Fuhrer
    Written by: Julian Mitchell
    Based on book by Richard Ellmann
    Rated R for strong sexuality and language.


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    Original Date Sunday 17 May 1998
    Updated Sunday 17 May 1998