6.3/10
60,117
147 user 89 critic

Dorian Gray (2009)

Trailer
1:31 | Trailer
A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty eternally, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Director:

Oliver Parker

Writers:

Toby Finlay, Oscar Wilde (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
3,722 ( 274)
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Barnes ... Dorian Gray
John Hollingworth ... Patrol Policeman
Cato Sandford Cato Sandford ... Rent Boy
Pip Torrens ... Victor
Fiona Shaw ... Agatha
Ben Chaplin ... Basil Hallward
Caroline Goodall ... Lady Radley
Maryam d'Abo ... Gladys
Michael Culkin ... Lord Radley
Colin Firth ... Lord Henry Wotton
Emilia Fox ... Lady Victoria Wotton
Nathan Rosen Nathan Rosen ... Young Dorian
Jeff Lipman ... Lord Kelso (as Jeffrey Lipman Snr)
Louise Kempton Louise Kempton ... Prostitute
Douglas Henshall ... Alan Campbell
Edit

Storyline

A naïve young man. A lovelorn artist. A corruptible Lord. A deal with the Devil. It all paints a dark picture of a Victorian London and how the rich and infamous party at their peril. Here, the telling of time and its consequence of experience for life's treasures' takes its toll on the body, mind and soul. The haunting and bleak tale of power, greed, vanity and inevitable self-destruction is ever present amongst the deceit, opium dens and sin. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Forever Young. Forever Cursed. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content including nudity, violence and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Oliver Parker has previously directed two other films based on works by Oscar Wilde: An Ideal Husband (1999) and The Importance of Being Earnest (2002). The latter of these also stars Colin Firth as one of the leads. See more »

Goofs

When Dorian stops in front of the theater playing "Hamlet," the barker tells him that he has only missed a little of the play, but when he goes to take his seat, it is already in Act III. See more »

Quotes

Basil Hallward: You shouldn't believe every word Harry says. He doesn't.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, one of the pieces of music played is listed as Haydn's "Sting Quartet" Op 76 No 4. See more »

Alternate Versions

During post-production, the film was tailored for a '15' certificate in the UK. According to the BBFC, the filmmaker cuts were as follows:
  • A scene in which a tea party is inter-cut with shots showing Dorian's sadomasochistic excesses was toned down to remove or reduce the more explicit moments (explicit sight of a fingernail being pulled off, explicit sight of a chest being cut with a razor in a sexual context, explicit sight of blood being sucked from a woman's breasts and sight of a restrained man being beaten).
  • Additionally, a murder scene was toned down to remove the sense of dwelling on the infliction of pain and injury (reduction in the number of stabbings, removal of a blood spurt from man's neck, reduction in sight of victim choking on his blood).
The subsequent version was then formally passed '15' by the BBFC without cuts, and released on DVD and Blu-ray. See more »

Connections

References The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Sadness Waltz
Written by H.C. Lumbye (as Hans Christian Lumbye)
Performed by Tivoli Symphony Orchestra
Courtesy of Naxos Records/Marco Polo 8.225223
See more »

User Reviews

 
A disappointing and shallow adaptation
13 November 2011 | by itamarscomixSee all my reviews

As is, The Picture of Dorian Gray is pretty much unfilmable. The 1945 version was close to doing it justice, but changes must be made whenever an adaptation is attempted. Still, when I see a new version coming out, I hope that it would bring more to the table than this sorry affair.

Oliver Parker is apparently thinking less of Oscar Wilde and more of himself with every adaptation. The very same director who did a fantastic job with very loyal and conservative adaptations of An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, strayed this time so much from the source material that it's barely recognizable - and I mean less the plot, and more the atmosphere, the message, the smart dialog and the fascinating characters who made the original novel so compelling. Parker chose instead to focus on the horror and erotic elements of the story, making it a pretty standard Dark-Side-of-London Victorian era horror film, perhaps in a feeble attempt to cash in on the success of From Hell and Sweeney Todd - and at its worst moments, it feels almost like a Twilight follower. Though the production values are clearly pretty high - cinematography, costumes and sets are all pretty good - they're also uninspired and completely lacking in originality.

Even worse are the cardboard characters and the shallow horror-movie dialog that replace the witty and dark banter Wilde was famous for. Ben Barnes is a very weak Dorian, showing no emotion or development over the course of the movie, but it's not solely his fault; Colin Firty gives his whole to a very complex and interesting character, but it's not enough to make the dialog ring with any kind of depth.

Thanks to a solid production and a couple of good actors, Dorian Gray is watchable, but just barely; and when it's supposed to be darkest, it's the most ridiculous. A pointless adaptation of a classic piece of literature.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 147 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Dorian Gray See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,873,653
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed