Rupert Everett's directorial debut tells sad story of Oscar Wilde's twilight
Here is an interesting new release available now from cable and digital providers as well as a title that has recently become available for streaming.
Video on Demand
"The Happy Prince": Rupert Everett is no stranger to the work of Oscar Wilde. He has starred in big-screen adaptations of "An Ideal Husband" and "The Importance of Being Earnest" over the years. For the last decade, he was writing this script and trying to get his own Wilde biopic off the ground. It finally paid off and has become his directorial debut. Everett also stars here as the legendary poet and playwright in a heartfelt look at the last years of his life, mostly spent in exile in France. These were not glamorous times. Wilde had been convicted and jailed for "gross indecency" after being caught in a homosexual affair. After being released from prison, he left for Paris and effectively spent two years hunting for anything to numb the pain. For better or worse, this includes the company of Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas (Colin Morgan), the lover who got him into all this trouble in the first place. While there is no question that this is Everett's movie, Emily Watson is magnificent in just a few scenes as Wilde's betrayed wife Constance and Mr. Colin Firth has a solid — but rather brief — role as Wilde's literary agent who tries to get him a little bit of money during the lean times. Ultimately, this is a rather depressing and tragic tale, but one told with great affection. (Cable and digital VOD)
Also on streaming services
"High Flying Bird": This stirring basketball drama marks the second film by director Steven Soderbergh to be shot entirely on an iPhone. Unlike the gritty visual style of the psychological thriller "Unsane," I would never have guessed that this uses the same mobile device to achieve its glossy and highly detailed look. It's a testament to Soderbergh's skill as a filmmaker and the copious amounts of sharp dialogue by "Moonlight" scribe Tarell Alvin McCraney that the movie never feels like a gimmick. The content, a story about a sports agent trying to end an NBA lockout, often is just on the verge of feeling theatrical, but the movie smartly uses New York City as another character to broaden its scope. The vibrancy of the locations used and the natural feel of the urban environment never allow the story to get stale or stodgy. André Holland is great and highly believable in the lead with a few stunning monologues, but the real MVP here is Zazie Beetz (from FFX's "Atlanta") who steals every scene. This is the first great film of 2019. (Netflix, 4K Ultra HD available)