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Cinefile

A compassionately splendid The Happy Prince, in We the Coyotes, LA tests young love

Rupert Everett plays 19th Century writer Oscar Wilde in his directoral debut 'The Happy Prince'
Rupert Everett plays 19th Century writer Oscar Wilde in his directoral debut 'The Happy Prince' copyright/Wilhelm Moser

For RFI's December Cinefile, there's Rupert Everett's The Happy Prince about the legendary writer Oscar Wilde's last chapter of life. We the Coyotes is a Franco-US coming of age-couple flick with howling good vibes. Click on the arrow on the photo to listen to Merlin Holland, Oscar Wilde's grandson talking about his ancestor and the "moving" film, and to Hanna Ladoul and Marco La Via, directors of We the Coyotes whose feature is close to home.

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The Happy Prince

Director and leading actor for The Happy Prince, Rupert Everett, takes on the challenge of engaging cinema-goers with yet another interpretation of 19th century writer Oscar Wilde.

Everett's rendering is framed within Wilde's fairy story of the same name; by way of introduction Wilde is seen as storyteller and loving father.

Then he delves into the trials and tribulations of the legendary literary figure, juggles with the exuberance of a person who has become an icon of wit as well as of gay rights.

The first-time director's acting experience creates a captivating and beautiful cinema story about love, as if Wilde might have predicted that his life would be fit for film.

Everett gives Wilde the expected enfant terrible attitude, and distills the character and the story with serious stuff which strikes a chord or two today.

Oscar's lover, Alfred Bosie Douglas is played by Irish actor Colin Morgan, quite transformed as the beautiful blond boy.

The two of them take up most of the screen time as they travel from Dieppe to England and to France.

However, three solid second roles, shore-up their performances. Colin Firth plays loyal pal, Reggie Turner, Edwin Thomas as the adorable Robbie Ross is the most tender, and Emily Watson as Constance, Wilde's estranged wife and the mother of his two sons is gracious and romantic.

The locations in France and Italy are beautiful, and French actress Béatrice Dalle adds a little zing as the punchy cabaret mistress.

Everett pulls off the challenge.

***

We the Coyotes

Jake (McCaul Lombardi) is in love with Amanda (Morgan Saylor) and apparently carefree. Amanda is in love with Jake and is pent up. The two 20-somethings have just moved across the country to the West coast, to Los Angeles to follow their dreams.

They appear to be incompatible but are in fact delightfully complementary.

The film has an ordinary feel to it. The camera follows the two young adults as they try to find work, somewhere to sleep, get their car towed away and their money stolen. All in a day's normal life adventures when you're new in town.

In between the couple's pitfalls and the less pretty parts of the city are mischief, beats, Jake's laid-back style, an endearing happy-go-lucky friend and a dose of good fortune.

The two up and coming actors are spot on.

The basis of the story sounds familiar. Two young French people, Hanna Laddoul and Marco La Via had set off to discover the US and Hollywood a few years ago. Their first feature film made it to ACID, the independent distributors programme on the sidelines of the main official Cannes Film Festival.

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