In this version of Oscar Wilde's tale, Dorian Gray is an actress who, desperate to become a worldwide star, makes a deal that switches her soul to her image on film, then proceeds to sleep ...
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In this version of Oscar Wilde's tale, Dorian Gray is an actress who, desperate to become a worldwide star, makes a deal that switches her soul to her image on film, then proceeds to sleep her way to the top, knowing that she will never age. Written by
The Picture of Dorian Gray explores the fantasy of invincible vice only to discover that, while justice can be dodged, there is no escape from conscience. Written in 1890, the homosexual undertones of the novel were used as evidence in the criminal-libel suit of Wilde vs the Marquess of Queensberry in 1895, who accused the writer of homosexual promiscuity with his son, Lord Alfred Douglas. Wilde was found guilty of gross indecency, and sentenced to two years hard labor - from which he never recovered. He died in poverty and disgrace in 1900. Like his tragic hero, Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde tried to conceal something about himself in art, and in the end was betrayed by art. See more »
A beautiful modernized version of the Oscar Wilde classic, in which Belinda Bauer gives a moving and poignant performance as the title character, here a female model led astray by the temptations of evil in a sharp allegory of the real-life corruption of celebrity culture and the rich and famous. Anthony Perkins also gives a memorable performance as Henry Lord, the movie's answer to Wilde's legendary Lord Henry Wotton, here a fashion tycoon who takes advantage of Dorian's youthful naivety to seduce her into his corrupt view of life. Despite the modern setting, the storyline's structure is surprisingly close to Wilde's original novel with almost every character, major and minor, given a modern-day equivalent in the narrative. Dorian's gradual descent into total corruption and malevolence is depicted perfectly, as is the eventual destruction of the world and people around her.
A haunting, eerie and dreamlike atmosphere prevails throughout the movie, and the film's answer to the novel's portrait- a screen test on a gigantic screen that grows more repulsive with each sin Dorian commits- is genuinely creepy and disturbing. The beautiful and haunting theme song, sung exquisitely by Lisa D'Albello, is truly stunning and enhances the film's captivating atmosphere perfectly. As each cast member turns in an excellent performance, the film should have the viewer literally on the edge of their seat as it approaches its destructive climax, ending of course on a tragic note that strangely leaves us feeling somehow more sorry for the debased Dorian, and even for Henry (who seems to have mellowed from his corrupt ways after witnessing Dorian's decline), than in the novel.
While some viewers may naturally object to the radical shift in style from Wilde's classic, along with the feminization and thus heterosexualization of the lead character, and of course the absence of Wilde's legendary quotes, this should not dissuade anyone from viewing the film, which is executed as perfectly as could have been possible. Although the film was made for the big screen, it was unfortunately only ever shown on TV due to lack of interest and is virtually unknown to this day. This is a shame, for The Sins of Dorian Gray is a truly beautiful, moving and haunting film that ranks easily among the best ever filmic interpretations of Wilde's novel. A true overlooked work of beauty that should not be missed.
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