Not So Happy Prince

DATELINE: Last Days of Oscar Wilde

Bosie & Oscar Morgan & Everett as Bosie & Oscar.

A movie about the last years of Oscar Wilde will hardly be a witty or charming piece of fluff. It is the stuff of tragedy, and director and star Rupert Everett does a masterful job presenting the sad, horrific last days of the most glorious wit of the 19th century.

The Happy Prince, of the film’s title, is a children’s tale that Wilde recounts several times for his own boys and for waifs he encounters in Paris.

Wilde is brutalized by publicity and a public that turns on him, bashing him as he descends into poverty and pathos.

Wilde’s sudden decline after two years at hard labor for his crime of love without a name is appalling to behold. At first, he is a beaten man of 45, but events turn him into a bloated, aging, suffering man with some kind of encephalitis. Loyal friends try to collect donations to keep him going, and he seems to promise to write again: but has lost his muse and impetus.

If there is a monster here, it is always Bosie, Alfred Lord Douglas, so cruel and so beautiful who abandons Oscar to squalor after a last fling in Capri. In a most unsympathetic role, Colin Morgan seems apt as the capricious flirt. Emily Watson is the beleaguered Constance, Wilde’s wife, who shuts him off ultimately and unwillingly without a farthing.

Edwin Thomas, as Robbie Ross, and Colin Firth, as Reggie Turner, are loyal to the end, as Wilde goes out on his terms of throwing caution and talent to the wind.

Tragic and unhappy though this biopic is, Everett is deft in his portrayal and his direction, making this a tour-de-force of conviction as well as acting. As a cautionary tale, the lessons are hard to face, but brilliantly conceived and played out.



Love, Cecil: Move Over, Truman, Noel, and Andy!

DATELINE: Save the Queen!

Bright young Beaton Bright Young Beaton!

It’s pronounced Seh-sill, not Sea-sill.

He rose from humble middle-class British life to starring role in every art scene of the 20th century. He was an inveterate snob.

Cecil Beaton was a force to be reckoned with in life—usurping the gay flighty worlds of Warhol and Truman Capote. Though he loathed Noel Coward, he matched them every step of the way down the gay runway.

Billed as the tastemaker of the 20th century, his vast collection of films, photos, designs, and assorted images, make up the compendium. He also gave many interviews. Yet, he still comes across as a social climber and proto-gay libber.

Beaton was always impressed with royalty, being one of those commoners from England. When he came to America, he instigated controversy everywhere: comparing British women to American.

However, he nearly destroyed his career with a careless and stupid anti-Semitic design in Vogue. He claimed to have been careless and thoughtless, as was his entire youth. Deep down, he was shallow.

The other key event in his life was becoming a war photographer during World War II. It redeemed his reputation.

His Hollywood ties include an infatuation with Garbo—asking her to join him in one of those arranged “friendship” marriages, as he preferred boys and she, girls.

By the 1950s and 1960s, he was taking pictures of all the most famous people: Marilyn, Warhol, Mick Jagger, and on and on. He was slight, epicene, and queenly, before it was considered stylish. If anything fit better, he was the natural heir to Oscar Wilde and Serge Diaghilev.

He also played a prominent role in Scotty Bowers’ documentary, Secret History of Hollywood. This Zircon is narrated by Rupert Everett.


Tom Brady’s Secret Plan to Play Ten More Years

DATELINE: I’ve Got a Secret or To Tell the Truth?

Featured image

Will the Real Tom Please Stand Up?

Tom Brady has consulted a great oracle of fame and immortality this week. He did it by communing with the dead author of “The Canterbury Ghost,” a short ditty written by his new mentor: Oscar Wilde.

And, Oscar Wilde told him he can play for ten more years. Not even Josef Stalin went for ten years; he always stuck with five year plans.

However, Brady must keep that courtroom sketch from the Deflategate controversy hidden in his attic. All the ills of his life, aging, and negative feelings will transfer to the picture. While it grows more monstrous in his vault of shame, Tom will continue to look the picture of health and beauty.

That New York artist and Jets fan Jane Rosenberg will probably be at the Meadowlands, trying to sell him another vision of the future.

Tom Brady may not be young enough to know everything, but he has started to become wiser with his fortieth birthday around the corner.

If he plays for ten more years, as he himself wished on Wednesday, he may morph into a Thriller style zombie on the lines of George Blanda—or at least Brett Favre.

Years ago novelist Tom Tryon (a former movie star) wrote his famous book called Fedora in which a stunning movie queen kept her looks and talents for forty years on the silver screen. Her beauty secret could be the one Tom has in the works for ten years from now. At that point, his youth and vigor will be astonishing, renewed, and a bizarre scandal if ever discovered.

We know the secret of Tom’s ten-year plan—and we aren’t talking, lest he put a curse on us.

Cooking and Clothes with Rajon Rondo



With the Celtics Broadway show heading for a crash and burn in New Haven, Connecticut, during tryouts before reaching the big runway of playoffs, we may take the fifth—and drink it.

The benighted Green team seems owned by an absentee landlord. Jeff Green seems to score twenty points a game, but has no impact on the outcome. He seems more invisible than Daniel Nava over at Fenway Park.

At the rate the team is finding the tank empty, we may end up this season writing only about Rajon Rondo’s cooking recipes and his fashion sense.

So far, Rondo has apparently been showing Avery Bradley how to cook up a storm of losses. AB used to be an equation in algebra, but now it is the full range of Bradley’s game.

While Rondo watches the tandem of Jelly Sullynyk playing like a gourmand’s dinner, Avery has been taken out of the point position and made just another member of the corps de ballet.

Lately Rondo has shown him the recipe for turnovers. In the past few weeks we have watched Bradley give us apple turnovers, blueberry turnovers, and plenty of raspberries in the turnover.

At this rate we may be yearning for Dennis Eckersley’s cheese turnover recipe. Rondo has seemingly only lemon turnovers to pass out to the bench lately.

In terms of fashion, we note that Rondo takes a limited wardrobe on the road trips. One night he showed up with a sports coat over his T-shirt. Other nights he wears prole collared ill-fitting jackets and overlarge ties.

Only when he is home is his wardrobe splendiferous. In last night’s losing game, he wore a strikingly tailored suit with purple tie that would have put Oscar Wilde to shame and made Dorian Gray blush.

When you look like Rondo, you can wear a dishrag loincloth and still look good. Too bad his team has not picked up on his fashion style. Alas, not everyone can be an intern at GQ like Rondo was.

Aficionados of Rondo know that RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR and RAJON RONDO & THE GREEN NEBULA are required reading. Both books are available at in ebook format for smart readers.

Oscar for Oscar, Crying to the Bondsman


Oscar Pistorius killed the thing he loved, and he must be bailed out.

The man known as the Blade Runner for his prosthetic legs of bouncing steel did it not with a bitter look, or unflattering word. He shot a beautiful woman four times through a bathroom door.

If someone wins an Oscar this year, it may be Pistorius, which may win the pistoriusing contest among actors.

If you need a bitter look or a flattering word, the Blade Runner outdoes his android movie counterpart.

The other Oscar who went to prison for consorting in the bedroom, not killing a brave man, did it with a kiss. Oscar Wilde was middle-aged when he went to jail.

Pistorius has committed his crime while young, and he may not go to jail if South Africa’s byzantine legal system acts like Pontius Pilate and washes its hands of him.

Fans may wash their hands and let Pistorius walk away on his hands like a circus act.

There is nothing kind about Oscar Pistorius and even less sympathetic. The dead so soon grow cold, even when crocodile tears dampen the cheeky demeanor of the killer.

The defense is that he has killed the thing he loved, and it is left to us to sigh and wonder why.