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sebastian melmoth

The Happy Prince

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At the start of Rupert Everett’s new film, we see the Oscar Wilde we know – decked out in evening clothes, telling the titular fairy tale to his two sons. The 1997 film Wilde with Stephen Fry has several scenes like this, which show Wilde as a loving father. And then Everett as Wilde breaks the fourth wall and says to camera, “It’s a dream.” It’s also a bracing statement of intent: We’re not going to see that Oscar Wilde. The Wilde we’re watching is about to scrounge some absinthe and cocaine for himself and two street urchins, then paint…

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