We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
"Wickedness," Oscar Wilde said, "is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others." Wilde himself was considered in some quarters the most wicked man of his time, in others as the most attractive--a gifted artist who was a martyr to convention.
At the very peak of his fame, after his play "The Importance of Being Earnest" opened to wild success in 1895, Wilde was convicted of "gross indecency" and spent his few remaining years in prison or decline. A century later, his reputation, personal and professional, could not stand higher, and this new biopic joins two current stage productions in celebrating his rise, fall and immortality. If he were alive today, he would no doubt describe his homosexuality as a good career move.
Wilde's personal tragedy would be of little lasting interest were it not for the enduring popularity of his work and the sensational nature of his fall. There were no doubt as many homosexuals in Wilde's day as there are now, but most of them either repressed their feelings or kept them secret. Homosexual behavior was, after all, against the law. It was Wilde's misfortune to fall in love with a reckless and vain young man who hated his pigheaded father, and wanted to use Wilde's fame as a taunt.
Worse luck that the father was the Marquess of Queensberry, a famous figure in boxing and horse racing. Still worse luck that when the marquess left an insulting message at Wilde's club, Wilde unwisely sued him. And dashedly bad luck that the marquess' attorneys were able to produce in court "rent boys" from a male brothel, who testified that the marquess was correct in describing Wilde as a sodomite.