It is a part he was born to play, and he does it with exactly the right kind of poignantly ruined magnificence. Rupert Everett has written, directed and starred in this gripping drama about Oscar Wilde’s final years: his disgraced exile-agony in Naples and Paris on being released from prison after the conviction for “gross indecency”. This was the result of his indiscreet affair with Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas, whose enraged, reactionary father, the Marquess of Queensberry, had provoked Wilde’s catastrophic libel action following an accusation of his “posing as a sodomite”. […] In Everett’s hands, the tale becomes an ambiguous parable for Wilde’s passion and (possible) redemption, the unhappy prince who makes a lonely discovery that love is the only thing worth worshipping.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Oscar Wilde goes to ruin in Rupert Everett’s debut feature as director. Everett also wrote and stars in the film, giving a grandstanding performance as the Irish writer at the end of his life, after his release from prison, where he has been doing hard labour for “gross indecency”.
Everett plays Wilde as if the writer is a matinee idol gone to seed. The middle aged bohemian retains traces of his old good looks but he has become jowly and overweight. He still has the ability to command a room. He is both more imposing physically and far wittier than anyone else in his circle. What Everett also conveys is Wilde’s yearning and sense of regret: his grief at his separation from his two sons and his childlike quality.
Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent