Wilde tells of the life and times of Oscar Wilde (Stephen Fry) in Victorian society, his discovery and coming to terms of being gay. Despite being a successful writer, Wilde struggles outside his professional capacity as a husband and father to his children, and his obsessive love for corrupt pleasure-seeking Bosie.
After his return from America, Wilde marries Constance Lloyd (Jennifer Ehle), and they become parents to two sons. Wilde is enjoying a successful run of his plays. The arrival of Canadian Robbie Ross (Michael Sheen) into their lives whose seduction of Wilde helps him understands and accepts himself as a gay man. Wilde has brief liaisons with rent boys until he meets and falls for Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas (Jude Law).
His obsession for Bosie meets with resistance in the form of Bosie’s father, the Marquis of Queensberry (Tom Wilkinson), who lays charges against him that lands him in prison for two years.
Whilst he is in prison, Constance informs him that she and the boys will be moving to Germany, and that he is welcome to visit them there. She poses one condition – he never sees Bosie again. Once he is released, Wilde takes refuge in Continental Europe, but despite advice to the contrary he does meet up with Bosie again.
“A solid biopic, with fine performances.”
— Alex von Tunzelmann, The Guardian
“Mr. Fry’s warmly sympathetic performance finds the gentleness beneath the wit. He conveys the sense of a man at the mercy of forces he cannot control, not least of them his own brittle genius.”
— Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Fry is utterly convincing. He speaks the witty lines as if he invented them and manages to square Wilde’s weakness and arrogance with his immense generosity of spirit”
— TimeOut London
Did You Know?
Scenes of the film Wilde were shot at a number of grand locations, including Knebworth House (Hertfordshire), Houghton Lodge (Hampshire), Magdalen College (Oxford), Lincoln’s Inn (Holborn), Somerset House (the Strand). Other natural locations were Lulworth Cove, Studland Bay, and Swanage Pier in Dorset. A cameo appearance by singing maestro Sting was one stage a possibility. Review our Gay Themed Films Here