Dorian Gray (2009)


Fantasy, Horror


Oliver Parker




Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, Ben Chaplin, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Johnny Harris, Rebecca Hall, Emilia Fox, Fiona Shaw, Maryam d'Abo, Caroline Goodall, Michael Culkin


The morally corrupt Dorian Gray (Ben Barnes) keeps his youthful beauty while a painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all. 


I remember being pretty excited when Dorian Gray hit the theatres back in 2009 because I loved Oscar Wilde's novel and because there was Prince Caspian in it. So I'm not really sure why I didn't go see it. I'm sure though that I would have not liked it back then either because this film is so terrible,  it doesn't even deserve being acknowledged as an adaptation of Wilde's famous novel.

Which brings me to another thing I'm quite sure about, the writer, Toby Finlay, has never read the novel. How would you otherwise explain such a travesty? Wilde's interesting and fascinating story has been turned into some sort of parody.

The story has been done so many times before so I totally get why Finlay wanted to try something different and twist the classic. But for God's sake, if you try to make something different at least make sure it's going to be good. Not a dull and lifeless thing like this one.

The character of Dorian Gray did not get a better treatment. Forget the beautifully ugly character Wilde wrote and Hurd Hatfield portrayed in The Picture of Dorian Gray. This Dorian Gray is almost paper-thin and tremendously undeveloped. Why? Simply because instead of focusing on the parts of the novel that developed the character, the writer decided to focus on sexuality and that only resulted in a laughable series of sex scenes.

So there really isn't much you can do with such a poor script. The worst part, however, is that nobody even tried. The direction is terribly dull, the acting is mediocre, to say the least, and visually the movie looks like a cheap Tim Burton movie.


  1. I think I remember when this was coming out and wondered why Colin Firth would be in this. It looked horrible and now it has been confirmed by you. I am mystified as to how a writer could write adreenplay on a famous book that he has never read!! I hope no one hires him again until he smarten up.

    1. That was only a supposition of mine but it's the only explanation for such a terrible plot.