Rupert Everett has long studied Oscar Wilde, having portrayed the Irish literary genius onstage in David Hare’s The Judas Kiss, and starred in screen adaptations of Wilde’s An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest—excellent preparation for this striking biopic, which is also his ambitious debut as screenwriter-director. By turns melancholy, witty, brutal, and sensual, the film is distinguished by its artful weave of time and memory, and by Everett’s uncompromising performance as Wilde during his final years. In exile on the Continent after his prison term for gross indecency, the former toast of the London theater and aristocracy now sings for his supper in a Parisian dive. Via flashbacks he relives his ill-advised reunion with his feckless lover, Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas (Colin Morgan); as Wilde’s regrets mount, they feed an eddy of deathbed hallucinations. The drama is so finely orchestrated it’s nearly opera. With Colin Firth, Edwin Thomas, and Emily Watson. In English and subtitled French and Italian.