Prick Up Your Ears
In his research on the celebrated playwright Joe Orton (Gary Oldman, The Dark Knight), biographer John Lahr's (Wallace Shawn, The Princess Bride) meetings with Orton's literary agent, Peggy Ramsay (Vanessa Redgrave, Howard's End) will frame the story of the life of an artist.
Told through flashbacks, the film reveals the relationship between Orton and his mentor (and subsequently, his lover) Kenneth Halliwell (Alfred Molina, The Da Vinci Code). At first blush the older Halliwell is the educator and Orton is his willing student. Those roles would be reversed with Orton thrust into the spotlight when his play, Entertaining Mr. Sloan, becomes a monstrous success. Orton's sudden fame and career trajectory would place Halliwell in his shadow, resulting in tragic consequences.
The talents of Redgrave, Oldman and Molina are a virtual master class on screen acting. Guiding them through their paces via a wonderful screenplay by Alan Bennett (The History Boys), based on the book by John Lahr, director Stephen Frears (The Queen) weaves a compelling, caustic, often humorous and never less than entertaining tale of fleeting fame.