Wednesday, June 09, 2004

I have coffee and I've got Cherry Coke.

Last night I watched the 1960 Ken Hughes film The Trials of Oscar Wilde. Peter Finch played Wilde and, for the bulk of the film, did a reasonably good job. No one working on the film seemed to have the proper sense of timing to deliver Wilde's witicisms early on in the film. So badly were they delivered, in fact, that I was partially compelled to stop watching, out of respect for the late Mr. Wilde. But I stuck it out, partly because I don't believe in judging a work of art until you've seen the whole of it, and partly because I was still curious about where it was going.

When it got to the actual courtroom scenes, the movie began to be effective. I suppose this is probably because the scenes took their script from court transcripts. Also, in these scenes, Finch gave a very good, moving performance, and it had me dwelling on that absolutely daemonic situation, of this brilliant, beautiful person who strayed into a lion's den with faith that being a true person who'd done nothing wrong would be all the defence he needed. Here's a vivid example of someone being destroyed by villainous and popular prejudices.

No comments:

Post a Comment