In 1660, with the return of Charles II to the English throne, theater, the visual arts, science and sexual intercourse flourish. Thirteen years later, in the middle of political and economical problems, Charles II asks the return of his friend John Wilmot, aka the second Earl of Rochester, from the exile to London. John is a morally corrupt, drunkard and sexually active cynical poet, and the King asks him to prepare a play for the French ambassador to make him pleased. John meets the aspirant actress Elizabeth Barry in the playhouse and decides to make her a great star. He falls in love for her, and she becomes his mistress; during the presentation to the Frenchman, he falls in disgrace in the court. When he was thirty-three years old, he was dying of syphilis associated to alcoholism and he converted to a religious man. –IMDb
A pale streak of celluloid in comparison to the masterful play it's based on. Don't bother with this. Instead, go online, buy Stephen Jeffreys' original play, photocopy it, get your friends and much wine and have a reading of it. You have no idea how great a work it is and is unfortunately overshadowed by this over-saturated mess.
So here he lies at the last. The deathbed convert. The pious debauchee. Could not dance a half measure, could I? Give me wine, I drain the dregs and toss the empty bottle at the world. Show me our Lord Jesus in agony and I mount the cross and steal his nails for my own palms. There I go, shuffling from the world. My dribble fresh upon the bible. I look upon a pinhead and I see angels dancing. Well? Do you like me now? Do you like me now? Do you like me now? Do you like me... now?
Johnny Depp plays John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester, 17th century poet and debauchee, and he had me at the opening monologue and (with the aid of the other performers) managed to keep me despite the… read review