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The Dying Gaul (I) (2005)

R  |   |  Drama  |  January 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,113 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 57 user | 43 critic | 23 from

A grief-stricken screenwriter unknowingly enters a three-way relationship with a woman and her film executive husband - to chilling results.



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Cast overview:
Ryan Miller ...
Male Guest
Dr. Foss


The gay screenwriter Robert, who is grieving the recent loss of his lover, writes a screenplay based on his biography and tries to sell it to the Hollywood producer Jeffrey. He offers one million dollars for his work, provided changes in the story replacing the dying man per a woman to make a commercial film. Jeffrey shows the screenplay to his wife Elaine, who loves to write and to plant flowers, and she is also delighted with the story. Robert works introducing the required modifications and Jeffrey, who is bisexual, has an affair with him. Meanwhile Elaine finds the gay website where Robert writes and she creates a fake profile to have conversation with him pretending that she is his deceased lover. Soon she learns the affair of her husband and she decides to leave him. But when the gay Robert discovers the truth, he has a breakdown and takes vengeance for Elaine with tragic consequences. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

lover | hollywood | sex | screenplay | gay | See All (146) »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

January 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kuoleva gallialainen  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$53,944 (USA) (4 November 2005)


$342,297 (USA) (20 January 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film is dedicated to writer/director Craig Lucas's best friend, playwright Tony Kushner. See more »


[as he hugs Robert]
Jeffrey: You are very handsome. And I'm getting a little turned on. Are you?
See more »


Version of The Dying Gaul (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Trio of Talented Actors in an Unconvincing and Wordy Film
12 December 2005 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Despite the earnest work of three talented actors, "The Dying Gaul" is a slow and ponderous film that betrays its stage origins. Unfortunately, the film opens with a scene that seems improbable, if not downright impossible, as a film producer attempts to purchase an original screenplay from a first-time writer who plays coy over principles, despite a million-dollar carrot. Before long, the producer seduces the writer, and the two men carry on an illicit affair behind the back of the producer's wife. However, the wife is intrigued after meeting the writer, and she begins to correspond with him in on-line chat rooms under the guise of a gay man. The sham that the wife uses to uncover the affair and psychologically harass the young writer would not fool anyone, let alone an educated writer, and the film falls apart from lack of credibility. Although Hitchcock may have been able to make lengthy scenes of two characters instant-messaging each other over a computer into classic cinema, director Craig Lucas has yet to hone those skills, and the instant-messaging exchanges are leaden to be polite. Fortunately, my watch has a dial that illuminates in the dark. The direction of the film in general is slowly paced, and there is little visual excitement or breaking through the boundaries of the stage-bound dialog.

Fortunately, the always-wonderful Patricia Clarkson plays the wife, and she does wonders with a part that is not intrinsically interesting. While Peter Sarsgaard generally falls into the "always-wonderful" category as well, his subtly mincing shtick as the gay writer seems as though it were lifted from the worst episodes of "Will and Grace." Sarsgaard played a gay (or bisexual) man far more convincingly in "Kinsey." While there certainly are effeminate and fey gay men, those stereotypes have already been played to death on screen, and a fresher concept would have been expected of an actor with the talents of Sarsgaard. Campbell Scott plays his part well, although, when a viewer's mind wanders to thoughts of how well Scott is aging, the actor is apparently not fully engaging the audience's attention.

"The Dying Gaul," while not a complete failure, is nonetheless a disappointment and little more than an acting exercise for three talented performers. The wordiness and leisurely pacing may have worked on stage, and the flimsy plot devices may also have played more credibly in the theater. However, on film, "The Dying Gaul" fails to engage or convince and ultimately falls flat.

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Big flaw in the movie- 1995 Anachronism Preraphaelite-1
How can you all feel sorry for Robert? dizzymissus_26
Question about the ending... alan-murray-b
Why Brokeback Mountain??? RLONEILL
The crying during intimacy thing? mikenj30
How explicit is the sex Dannyramone86
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