6.3/10
58,792
142 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
4,202 ( 715)
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Director: Dave Rosenbaum
Stars: Josh Duhamel, Branden Waugh, Rainer Judd
Easy Virtue (2008)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young Englishman marries a glamorous American. When he brings her home to meet the parents, she arrives like a blast from the future - blowing their entrenched British stuffiness out the window.

Director: Stephan Elliott
Stars: Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Kristin Scott Thomas
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Director: Albert Lewin
Stars: George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed
Dorian Gray (1970)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

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

Director: Massimo Dallamano
Stars: Helmut Berger, Richard Todd, Herbert Lom
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

A modern retelling of Oscar Wilde's classic masterpiece. In the wealthy and vain hedonist Dorian Gray, painter Basil Hallward has found his muse. Only when Dorian's portrait begins to age, ... See full summary »

Directors: Andrew Fisher, Khian Bartlett
Stars: Rene Abelar, Mo Chaaban, Chris Coon
Seventh Son I (2014)
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

When Mother Malkin, the queen of evil witches, escapes the pit she was imprisoned in by professional monster hunter Spook decades ago and kills his apprentice, he recruits young Tom, the seventh son of the seventh son, to help him.

Director: Sergei Bodrov
Stars: Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1890s London, two friends use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues.

Director: Oliver Parker
Stars: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O'Connor
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family's displeasure.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Lukas Haas, Gary Oldman
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world's finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent.

Director: Tom Tykwer
Stars: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman
The Picture of Dorian Gray (TV Movie 1973)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In Victorian London, a beautiful young man is given a portrait of himself by an admiring artist. Soon after this, he treats a young woman cruelly and then notices that his portrait seems to... See full summary »

Director: Glenn Jordan
Stars: Charles Aidman, William Beckley, Shane Briant
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A contemporary adaptation of Oscar Wilde classic tale of vanity.

Director: Duncan Roy
Stars: David Gallagher, Noah Segan, Christian Camargo
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas
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:

Eternally Beautiful. Eternally Damned. 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

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:

$22,410,097
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Colin Firth (Lord Henry Wotton) has worked on another project that involved Oscar Wilde: Colin played the character of Reggie Turner in the movie The Happy Prince (2018). The movie is about the latter years of Oscar Wilde's life. 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

Emily Wotton: I hope I'm not interrupting your reminiscence?
Lord Henry Wotton: One charm of the past, is that it's the past.
Emily Wotton: Hmm... I hope you're not also a dreary old cynic?
Dorian Gray: What is there to believe in?
Emily Wotton: Our developments.
Dorian Gray: All I see is decay.
Emily Wotton: For the religion.
Dorian Gray: Fashionable substitute for believe.
Emily Wotton: Art.
Dorian Gray: Formality.
[...]
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

Version of Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray (1917) See more »

Soundtracks

String quartet op. 76 No. 4
Written by Franz Joseph Haydn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The Forfeit of Boring Gray
27 February 2010 | by sandoverSee all my reviews

If one is titillated by the film's actually boring visuals - stage design excepted and congratulated - then I must say one is really duped into believing that opulent visual description is film-making and that "debauchery" displayed is really transgressive. It is also a total misconception of what the book is really about.

So, let's unpack some things. Some people say that the book hinted because the times did not allow full-blown depictions concerning sexual matters. Wrong. Oscar Wilde was quite clever to know that hinting at...those things was actually more effective. It just takes a hint for Victorian prudishness to get heated by its unassumed imaginings. This seems does not go for our times: some get lured into believing that graphic depiction means surmounting a censoring obstacle, while this in truth falls flat. Hitchcock knew that playing with identification, expectation, the frustrations of the imagination was more sexual than shots describing sex. Or Kubrick: some reviews mentioned his "Eyes Wide Shut", and for the sexual orgy scene as something clumsy and laughable. Wrong again. Kubrick rather wanted to show that a luxurious elaborate orgy is actually rather cold and boring. Sex cannot be directly pictured. It is a matter of representation, and, even more, its gaps and discontinuity. That is where we really invest, where our fantasies lie, and tell the truth.

The problem lies not in how one should depict the underlying sinister atmosphere of the novel concerning sexual matters. The lead has no charisma at all: he plays Dorian Gray as Harry Potter. Colin Firth is good in a misconception of his character. As Wilde himself wrote Lord Henry is his reflection "as the world thinks" he is. Colin Firth played the part without any of the delicious sarcasm this would demand. Et cetera et cetera for the rest of the cast. It all is irrelevant.

Irrelevant because this is not the nature of the book: the book has a very peculiar quality that is difficult to pin down. It is a take on the Faustian myth. It is part of the decadent movement. It is Gothic, it is aesthetic. All that it may be, it is something else. It is rather a writers' book for its themes are mimesis, or imitation, and influence.

Oscar Wilde is one of a handful of great thinkers on matters of (literary) influence, and this is the main tension that propels the book onward, contrasting with a rather catholic concept of sin, and bursting with the conceptual inversion of mimetic principles. Lord Henry is the representative of influence, a socialite luring Dorian Gray into paradox. How can one live in such times? he seems to say. Well, by living in paradox. Paradox is here for us, is our natural environment. It would go to lengths, elaborating on nuance, anxiety, and in general the tropes on which the book relies, making it a permanent read beyond its moralistic, or corrupting, surface, but this much is sure: Oscar Wilde knows that influence, as fantasy, could be equally frustrating and liberating. Influence and fantasy mean we are not Adam, first thing in the morning, for better and worse.

Or, in another way, Dorian Gray suffers from an imbalance between himself and his mirror image: the price to be paid for retaining his image in all its harmonious consistency is that the entire horror of its amorphous leftover falls to him. This amorphous leftover is the material correlative to the gaze. For all the good influential paradoxes of the world, not until the very end does he abandon his image. The film did not catch any of that.

The book is also stuffed with lengthy chapters about artistic specimens Dorian Gray impulsively collects, making it something of a period piece. And this is where the film resembles the book in its most unfortunately hilarious.

Although not one iota of this is represented in the film, it strikes quite a note: as in the end of the 19th century prevalent, period preoccupations were presented with, say, an "imperially informed" innocence, so the decadent movement (portions of the book read as takes, critiques and elaborations on Pater and Ruskin, that is why it risks being something of an inside, undramatic joke) displayed a style of journalistic mannerisms and purple prose - so does the film exemplify respective aesthetic misfires: an (M)TV aesthetic, soft-porn libertinism, same old horror in the attic, into an unimaginative pile, thus showing its lackluster take on mimesis. The photography fails to establish a consistently sinful look: it should insist on, for example, that ebony sinister quality of the hall that leads to the attic. Where is the book's opium polish? The ashen look, when the portrait happens to look at the outside world is good, but whatever ambiance it aspires to, tumbles down when we are shown the portrait in the end, which actually looks like a parody of a damned Pirate of the Caribbean.

It's a pity because with intelligent elaboration the daughter-of-Lord-Henry theme could yield to a really good take on a certain kind of neo-Darwinism by introducing tension to the theme symbolic child via influence vs biological child as responsibility; but in the end it ludicrously becomes another take on familial-ties-must-remain-strong. And it so resembles the book's dated, absent from the film, lengthy and inconsequential parts. The film is absent from itself, locked somewhere up in an attic of clichés.


7 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 142 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed