December 2, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

LGBTQ+ Culture Coming to Life with Oscar Wilde on the Big Screen

“The Happy Prince”

Rated R

105 Minutes

Released October 5

Review By Kathryn Whitney Boole

 

“The Happy Prince” may be the closest we will come to actually viewing the great Irish humorist and playwright Oscar Wilde on the screen. Rupert Everett wrote, directed and stars in this film about the eccentric, flamboyant figurehead. Everett has performed in many of Wilde’s plays over his long career. In a discussion following my screening, Everett explained that he had found early on that he had a natural ability to communicate in Wilde’s language, which has a unique and specific melodic flow. He has a deep understanding of this exceptionally complex man and his times.

Wilde was extremely intelligent and well read, educated at Oxford and fluent in French and German. He was a poet, novelist, ostentatious celebrity and playwright. He represented the artistic milieu of his time, the “Belle Epoque” of the late 1800s. Had Wilde lived today he most certainly would be a social media megastar. What set him apart from other artists of the time was his highly developed sense of humor – his ability to laugh at the world and himself.

Everett began work on “The Happy Prince” eleven years ago. It’s common for an independent, low budget film to take that long to come to fruition and in this case it was also fortuitous in that Everett’s frustration with the process drove him to take on the roles of both director and actor. He handpicked his cast, and thus they represent probably a very accurate version of Wilde’s closest friends. In Everett’s words, no one is a “minor player,” no matter how little screen time they have. Every character is crucial to telling the story of the last days of this great artist.

Though he died at age 46, Wilde lived such a rich and varied life that it is impossible to summarize his impact on art and culture within a few paragraphs. Everett, in choosing to cover just the end of Wilde’s life, gives us the fascinating “tip of the iceberg” and tempts us to want to know more about him.

Everett noted that today history is often pushed to the periphery of our daily existence. We remember what happened on twitter up to two hours ago – the rest is forgotten. This is sad as understanding history has such a great effect on the strength of our society. Wilde’s time was the nascence of what our world is today. During the height of his influence the strict social mores of the 19th Century were beginning to break down. Artists and writers such as Wilde were finding the courage to break barriers. Conditions were beginning to form that gave birth to two world wars during the next century. Wilde’s comedy is born from the tragedy of one existence coming to an end, and a new world rising from the ashes. The positive to take from this movie is that such films can give our society a start at reigniting the curiosity that we so need mine the depths of history and stories of illustrious figures that have carved out their lives before us.

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people.  She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com

Related Posts

World’s First LGBTQ Mariachi Band Performs for the Center to Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

October 26, 2021

October 26, 2021

Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles—the world’s first LGBTQ mariachi—entertained more than 50 Center clients and staff members with an exuberant...

New Documentary Pays Tribute to Transgender ‘AIDS diva’ Connie Norman

October 26, 2021

October 26, 2021

A new documentary titled “AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman,” will pay tribute to the transgender leader in AIDS...

The Los Angeles LGBT Center & Gochis Galleries Announce Collaboration With Art Division

September 29, 2021

September 29, 2021

The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Advocate & Gochis Galleries announced a collaboration with Art Division.  Art Division is a community...

Sex and the City Star Willie Garson Dead At 57

September 28, 2021

September 28, 2021

Acclaimed actor and Los Angeles resident Willie Garson passed away on September 21 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer,...

Elvira Shocks Fans By Coming Out Of The Closet

September 28, 2021

September 28, 2021

Just in time for Halloween, the spook queen herself, Cassandra Peterson, a.k.a. Elvira, has come out of the closet.  In...

QFilms Long Beach Returns

September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021

QFilms Long Beach, Long Beach’s oldest film festival, returns September 30 – October 3 to celebrate the diversity of LGBTQ...

Lady Gaga Announces New Album Dropping In October

August 15, 2021

August 15, 2021

Oscar and Grammy winner Lady Gaga has announced that she will be dropping a new album set to be released...

“Pose” Actor Jason Rodriguez Forms New Talent Agency

August 15, 2021

August 15, 2021

Jason Rodriguez, the unequivocal new face of voguing and “Pose” superstar, has formed a new talent agency called Arraygency.  Rodriguez...

AltaMed Health Services to Host “Inclusion Beyond Pride: A Queer Art Show”

August 5, 2021

August 5, 2021

AltaMed Health Services, will host “Inclusion Beyond Pride: A Queer Art Show” on Friday, Aug. 6, 6-10 p.m. in Los...

Lil Nas X Releases New Music Video “Industry Baby”

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

Lil Nas X has shared the music video for his new song “Industry Baby”. Directed by Christian Breslauer the video...

GLAAD Responds To Historic Emmy Noms

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

GLAAD has responded to the historic Emmy nominations after it was announced that out trans actress MJ Rodriguez and out...

MJ Rodriguez Makes History As First Out Trans Woman Emmy Nominee

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

Actress Michaela Jaé, formerly known as  MJ Rodriguez, became the first out trans woman performer to be nominated in a...

Riverdale Avenue Books Publishes “The Wizard Of Pride”

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

The Wizard of Pride is an LGBTQ retelling of the cult classic The Wizard of Oz.  Published by the innovative...

“Gayest Episode Ever” An LGBTQ+ Podcast

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

Gayest Episode Ever is an LGBTQ+ podcast hosted by journalist Drew Mackie and screenwriter Glen Lakin. The podcast looks at...

WeHo Poet Laureate Reviews LGBTQ Documentray “Senior Prom”

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

West Hollywood poet Laureate, RENT Poet founder and author of “The Poetry of Strangers: What I Learned Traveling America with...