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Wilde

Wilde (1998)

tomatometer

67

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.

audience

73

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 8,859

My Rating

Movie Info

Literary genius, legendary wit, bon vivant, and gay martyr, Oscar Wilde was a man whose legend has grown to iconic proportions since his death at the beginning of the 20th century. Establishing Wilde (Stephen Fry) as a loving family man, complete with a wife (Jennifer Ehle) and two adorable sons, the film takes pains to portray him as a dignified genius who was as pained by what he considered his own sin -- his homosexuality -- as he was delighted by the sins of others. From his initial

R,

Drama

Julian Mitchell

Mar 19, 2002

Sony Pictures Classics

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Cast

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All Critics (49) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (14) | DVD (10)

A tony biopic that manages to combine an upfront portrayal of the scribe's gayness with an often moving examination of his broader emotions and artistic ideals.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If anybody was born to play Oscar Wilde, it must have been Stephen Fry: not only does he look like the Green Carnation Man, but he himself is often portrayed as being too clever, too complex for his own good.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Likely to remain the definitive screen treatment of Oscar Wilde for years to come.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The closest thing the movie has to a point of view is a tendentious and mystifying voice-over, in which Fry reads excerpts from Wilde's fairy tale about a selfish giant who banishes his children from his garden.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stephen Fry brings a depth and gentleness to the role that says what can be said about Oscar Wilde: that he was a funny and gifted idealist in a society that valued hypocrisy above honesty.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stephen Fry is extraordinary as Oscar Wilde, but the movie lacks balance and finesse and comes across as a TV movie of the week.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Stephen Fry captures Wilde completely.

September 17, 2003
Blunt Review

[Stephen Fry] was born to play Oscar Wilde!

June 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

There's never been a better story about the misadventures of one of the world's greatest writer. Fry should have been Oscar nominated, and Law is equally electrifying.

February 10, 2003
Sunday Times (Australia)

Julian Mitchell's script freely doles out all kinds of pithy, self-conscious bon mots among its cast, but doesn't bother to flesh out convincingly the emotional conflicts and dramas in which the characters find themselves.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

Fry is great, though the film struggles to make a lasting impression.

January 9, 2003
Flipside Movie Emporium

Call it "The Picture of Oscar Gray" or "The Importance of Being Overly Earnest." Somberness aside, "Wilde" is still worth placing a green carnation in your lapel for and scampering off to see.

January 4, 2003 Full Review
Detour Magazine

A plodding, downbeat drama with all potential for mirth drained from it.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

This tale about the genius of paradox presents its own curious puzzle: how a life of such epic passion and tragedy can elicit so little emotional pull.

March 24, 2002 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

The film depicts the shadow side of yearning. When stoked by pride, it can lead to a headlong plunge into self-destruction.

March 2, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

[A] well-done biopic.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

You would think the life of Oscar Wilde would lend itself more to film. Not so. This biopic is unfathomably boring and ultimately pointless.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

A gelid, often charmless affair which flirts with us, but ultimately fails to consummate the relationship.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A superficial drama that seems to be more concerned with portraying realistic gay sex scenes more than with telling us what made the man tick.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Despite a few shortcomings, Wilde is a magnificently film, filled with a sometimes sensual feeling, and filled with the same way of looking at history as A Man for All Seasons did.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Audience Reviews for Wilde

Stephen Fry was perfect for the lead role of Oscar Wilde, he played it brilliantly and was extremely convincing. The acting throughout the film was of a high standard and I enjoyed it very much. It was very much about his relationships though, I'd like to have known a little more about his writing so as much as I liked it, I feel I didn't find out half as much as I should have considering it was meant to be a biopic.
August 20, 2012
SirPant

Super Reviewer

The acting was good, but Jude Law's character is so whiny and hateful, it's almost like watching two hours of an abusive relationship.
December 28, 2008
Julie

Super Reviewer

A melodrama with a wonderful portray of Wilde, but lacking the signature Wilde wit.

Fry is genius, Law is less than desirable
September 19, 2008
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

Biopic of a genuis, starring a genius.
March 26, 2007
newvogueravyn

Super Reviewer

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James Purefoy is out and Hugo Weaving is in, according to Variety. The movie in question is "V...

Foreign Titles

  • Oscar Wilde (DE)
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