Wilde 1998 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(135) IMDb 6.9/10

This lush, historical drama is based on the late Richard Ellmann's definitive biography of creativegenius and author Oscar Wilde.

Stephen Fry, Jude Law
1 hour, 58 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.


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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Brian Gilbert
Starring Stephen Fry, Jude Law
Supporting actors Vanessa Redgrave, Jennifer Ehle, Gemma Jones, Judy Parfitt, Michael Sheen, Zoë Wanamaker, Tom Wilkinson, Ioan Gruffudd, Matthew Mills, Jason Morell, Peter Barkworth, Robert Lang, Philip Locke, David Westhead, Jack Knight, Jackson Leach, Laurence Owen, Benedict Sandiford
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Stephen Fry is excellent through and through--he was born to play Oscar.
Anna Tyler
I wasn't very familiar with Oscar Wilde's life story and this film gives you a nice summary of the eccentric writer's life.
Daryl B
Wilde's caught between two worlds he desparately wants to join, that of being a father and being with the man he loves.
James Hiller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on December 5, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
If anything, the value of true love and compassion, unfettered by social interdictions, and how the Victorian attitudes made only a certain kind of love a crime, is the driving force behind Wilde. The bio-movie of legendary playwright and wit Oscar Wilde begins with his trip to Leadville, Colorado in 1882, where a seam in a silver mine has been named in his honour. Down the mine, he tells the story of The King's Dream, about how the king has dreams revealing how lesser class people have toiled and suffered so that nobles can wear finery and wield sceptres and ornaments of silver and gold.
Wilde seems to have it, talent, wit, a nice wife, two children. It's at the reception for his play, Lady Windermere's Fan, that we see the beginning of the end. There, Wilde is introduced to Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed "Bosie", a handsome blond who finds conventional morality stifling, such as his enjoyment of other men, but whose selfishly immature, egotistic nature comes out in an ugly way later in the movie. "Bosie" admires Wilde. "You use wit like a knife, cut through all those starched shirt fronts. You draw blood. It's magnificent," he tells him.
Bosie introduces Wilde to secret parlors where there are others who have homosexual leanings, but he seems proud to display himself as "Wilde's boy", wanting the whole world to know, whereas Wilde is a bit more on the cautious and side. Yet he counsels Bosie, who is then in a petulant pique that Wilde has to work on his play instead of having fun, that "pleasure have to be earned and paid for." And yet he is patient and forgiving towards the lad.
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on February 2, 2002
Format: DVD
In WILDE, Stephen Fry (Jeeves in "Jeeves and Wooster") is the consummate Wilde. Jude Law plays his lover Bosie Douglas. Jennifer Ehle (Elizabeth Bennett in "Pride and Predjudice") plays Wilde's long suffering wife. Vanessa Redgrave and Tom Wilkinson also have important roles. What a cast.
The Belle Epoch is beautifully recreated as Wilde travels between England and France--clothes, interiors, architecture, grounds. You don't even have to understand the story to enjoy "being there" in the parks, homes, carrriages.
Oscar Wilde was a writer, best remembered perhaps for "The Portrait of Dorian Grey" although modern audiences may be more familiar with his stage play "The Ideal Husband" (recently made into a film with Jeremy Northern and Cate Blanchett) or "The Importance of Being Earnest."
Wilde was a homosexual in England in an age when one could and did go to prison for acting on instinct. (Nowadays in Saudia Arabia they take off your head.) Although the public became aware of his proclivities, Wilde remained one of Europe's most admired writers. Unfortunately, his term in prison for his sexual preferences may be remembered longer than his works which contain a wonderful drawing room humor many folks fail to grasp. This is a great film, and if you're an Anglophile you must add it to your collection. -- And Paris?? That's where Oscar is buried.
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227 of 254 people found the following review helpful By James Morris on December 29, 2005
Format: DVD
I really am puzzled by the number of people who somehow find the sexual aspect of a story concerning one of the most celebrated gay men in history too explicit. I mean, what did they expect?

First let me offer my review of Wilde - every moment of this film is brilliant. It perfectly articulates the shame behind a supreme waste of talent and the unjust imprisonment of one of the great literary geniuses of the English language. The sets, costumes and dialogue all manage to faithfully invoke the manners and attitudes of Victorian England. Stephen Frye gives a performance that is nothing less than incredible, and his physical resemblance to the real Oscar Wilde is downright spooky. The supporting cast is perfect, and the script pretty much says all that needs to be said about his trial, conviction and downfall. So what's not to like?

Some have complained that the film has focused too much on Wilde's sexuality and not enough on his literary accomplishments. But the purpose of the film is clearly to illustrate the travesty of justice that robbed the world of one of literatures greatest figures. Those who are interested in knowing what a fine writer Wilde was need only to acquire a book of his collected works or seek out a production of one of his theatre pieces. The purpose of this film is to show how Victorian morality cruelly destroyed the life of a great man.

Now let's talk about the "graphic sex scenes"...

I recently heard a "liberal" commentator on a radio show discussing the film Brokeback Mountain. He said, and I quote, "I am all for gay liberation. I support the right of gays to marry, and leave their property to their partners.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2003
Format: DVD
For the most part, this is one of the most amazingly accurate biopics I have ever seen. The screenwriter obviously wrote it with Richard Ellman's stellar biography in one hand, and except for one small bit, stays astonishingly true to the facts of Wilde's life. The accuracy is one of the two things that makes this film so fascinating. The other is the remarkable performances by the films actors. Stephen Fry is nothing short of remarkable, acting Wilde as a real person, instead of a parody or caricature of Wilde. Jude Law, in one of his first notable screen performances, is appropriately fetching as Alfred Lord Douglas (and I do admire his courage as a heterosexual actor portraying so convincingly a homosexual siren). Tom Wilkinson, who each year seems to distinguish himself more and more as one of the most versatile and talented actors in film, is suitably vicious and tenacious as Lord Douglas's father, the Marquess of Queensbury. He strikes perfectly the pose of evangelical fervor and philistinism that one detects in reading of the real Marquess. Jennifer Ehle is excellent in the thankless role of Wilde's wife. The movie depicts quite accurately Wilde's intention in prison to return to his wife after leaving prison, an intention that was frustrated by her death before his release. His relationship with Robbie Ross, who was in real life probably Wilde's most faithful and dedicated friend, is shown in moving detail.
The lone complaint I have with the film is the omission of the past couple of years of Wilde's life. Although he was reunited with Alfred Lord Douglas briefly upon his release from prison, their attempted reconciliation was largely a failure, and they eventually went their own ways, with Lord Douglas completely turning his back on Wilde during his time of greatest need.
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