Once you’ve seen Stephen Fry in the title role of Oscar Wilde it’s difficult to imagine anyone better suited. Playing to the myth of the giant of wit, restraint and wisdom, Fry conveys the strain of a public figure tied to a false marriage (with Jennifer Ehle) while besieged by his love for another man (a bitingly excellent Jude Law as the rich and spoilt Lord Alfred Douglas). Assertive in its graphic exploration of male love (two years prior to TV’s daring Queer as Folk series), this may not suit all tastes. Nevertheless, it is beautifully written and its attention to period detail is spot-on. As a profile of one of Ireland’s greatest writers, this is a thought-provoking and desperately sad film.
For more of today’s free-to-air films, see our TV listings