Film & DVD Review: Dorian Gray

Reviewed by Rosdaughr

Dorian Gray

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Starring Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia; Prince Caspian, Easy Virtue) as Dorian Gray, an exquisite, innocent young man who makes a compact with the devil to stay forever young and desirable and the consequences of this shady deal.


Released on 18 January 2010 from Momentum Pictures, this dark, lascivious adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s gothic tale also features Colin Firth, Ben Chapman (The Remains of the Day), Emilia Fox (The Pianist) and Rebecca Hall (Frost/Nixon, The Prestige).

This film, directed by Oliver Parker (St. Trinian’s, The Importance of Being Earnest) for Ealing Studies is beautifully shot in contrasts of blue shadowy gothic horror and spicy decadence. The sets and costumes are spot-on for their time periods.

Dorian, begins the story as a handsome but naïve young man who is quickly snatched up by Lord Henry Wotton (Firth). Lord Wotton begins to groom him into a decadent and glamorous London society. The film then twists when Henrys friend, artist – Basil Hallward paints Dorian’s portrait, capturing the alluring power of his beauty.

It is here Dorian makes the pact with the devil and swears he will give anything (even his soul) to stay as he is in the picture.

The film follows Dorian’s downward descent deeper into abasement, sin and violence. He becomes increasingly dark hearted and evil, taking us with him into the depths of hell. Finally, a still fresh-faced, but internally aging Dorian Gray tries to come to grips with the evil that has become him and perhaps grasp at some form of redemption.

This film is a stunning contrast between a glamorous Victorian London society and the dark shadows of the backstreets and opium bars. I recommend adding this film to your collection.

Additional information:

Actors: Rebecca Hall, Rachel Hurd Wood, Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, Fiona Shaw

Directors: Oliver Parker

Writers: Toby Finlay (screenplay)

Oscar Wilde (novel)

Format: Anamorphic, PAL

Language English

Region: Region 2

Number of discs: 1

Classification: 15

Studio: Momentum Pictures

DVD Release Date: 18 Jan 2010

Run Time: 107 minutes


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