The best version of Dorian Gray I have ever seen! (by CountVladDracula)
I finally was able to see the 2009 version of Dorian Gray, adapted from the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.I am writing this review AS an Oscar Wilde fan. I have read The Picture of Dorian Gray twice and I have read The Canterville Ghost twice. I am going to tell you right now that these negative reviews that claim that this film is an insult to Oscar Wilde are WRONG! It's as if people who know very little about th works of Oscar Wilde are following a trend.Those that say this would make Oscar Wilde roll over in his grave clearly have never seen the dreadful mid 2000s <more>
version of The Picture of Dorian Gray that re-sets it in the 1960s with a female Basil with horrendous acting. And they clearly have never seen the 1940s version of The Canterville Ghost that turned the entire story into World War 2 propaganda about a solider having to prove himself against a nazi. I will admit that this not a word for word faithful adaptation of the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray however it is very true to the heart of the novel, the meaning and purpose. The character portrayals are perfect and accurate. All changes are purely superficial. I know Ben Barnes as Dorian does not resemble the character of the novel however he does resemble Oscar Wilde himself and since Oscar Wilde saw himself in Dorian I felt this was a brilliant use of visual symbolism in Wilde's own relationship with Dorian Gray.I know that some people have complained about the adding of the character Emily Wotton, whom does not exist in the novel. What people fail to remember is that nearly all film versions of The Picture of Dorian Gray have this 'redeemer' character. In the 1940s movie her name was Gladys. In the 1973 version of The Picture of Dorian Gray her name was Beatrice. In most versions she's Basil's niece or daughter but in this version she was Lord Henry's daughter.What many don't know is that this character does exist in the novel. She's mentioned briefly near the end as a country girl named Hetty. Her part in the novel isn't as big as in the film adaptations but she does still exist and she works to add sympathy to Dorian's character.You cannot see the inner workings of Dorian's mind in a physical medium like films or plays as you do with the novel so you you need a new way to see his moral struggle. And this is done through the presence of Emily. Collin Firth was incredible as Lord Henry. That was the best portrayal of Lord Henry since George Sanders. This version of The Picture of Dorian Gray has more of Oscar Wilde's witty epigrams than any other version before it. The only line missing that I wish was in here is Lord Henry gives Dorian a cigarette case. In this one it's just inscribed with Dorian's name. In the novel it reads 'The World has changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curve of your lips re-write history.The only character of the film I did not like was this version of Sybil Vane. Sibyl in the novel . In this version Dorian seduces her into sleeping with him before marriage as he does in the original film with Angela Lansbury in the role . When Sybil starts talking about having a family Dorian argues that it is too soon, much thanks to the ideas planted in his head by Lord Henry. When this Sybil kills herself it gets revealed that seh was with child. This takes away from her sympathy. It's true having a child out of wed lock was frowned upon in the Victorian era but it did happen. And it did not mean the end of the world. Look at the character of Fantine in Les Miserables. It was selfish of this Sybil to kill herself because she did not just kill herself, she killed herself and the unborn baby. Sybil does kill herself in the earlier incarnations but at least she had never done it while carrying a baby and knowing she was carrying the baby, and having wanted to raise the child. It's hard to sympathize with this version of Sybil, especially since you know her brother Jim would have taken care of both her and the baby if not Dorian.Basil, however, was very sympathetic. One thing I'm glad they cut was that in most versions Basil didn't just disapprove of Dorian's relationship with Sybil out of jealousy, he also had told him not to marry beneath his class. Basil doesn't do that in this version. Basil is the most sympathetic of Dorian's Victims in this film.Dorian himself is played exceptionally well though my favourite character portrayal in this version is Lord Henry. Dorian goes from ruthless and cruel to sympathetic and tragic in a heartbeat. The struggle is perfect. You can see his conscience, and not just with the painting. He is fighting against his own darker instincts which adds to making him sympathetic.As a true Oscar Wilde fan I feel they captured the spirit of Oscar Wilde's intent. This was the best version of The Picture of Dorian Gray I have ever seen, the black and white version coming in close second for having the better and more innocent version of Sibyl Vane. I am in America and we never got a theatrical release of this version of Dorian Gray. I sincerely hope that some day in the near future America will get, at least, a DVD release of this film because it is truly good, truly exceptional, and far more intelligent, interesting and just plain better than the Twilight Saga.
Excellent approach of Oscar Wildes novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (by drklabs)
This is a more modern approach of Oscar Wildes novel The Picture of Dorian Gray , Oliver Parker the director of this film brilliantly gave an excellent version of best possible camera's positioning, me personally didn't find not even one mistaken placed camera ,and he tried to marriage the old time classics erotic scenes with a more modern sex approach to cover the gap between the old times and the modern times to give us the sense that this is a beyond time limits story as Oscar Wilde tried to teach all generations that pleasure is not exactly the happiness and also that money <more>
don't bring happiness too, the battle between the rich and the poor taking place on this film but who is the winner finally ? the meaning of the family of course is the winner because the corrupt father Colin Firth as the Lord Henry Wotton stands by his daughter at the end and forgets all his mistaken and experimental theories about the meaning of living that he always teaching around the film with an approach to dorian gray as a son that he is not his real son so he can experiment a little bit further than hes time ethics and try things beyond the limits.Ben Barnes as the Dorian Gray the young fool without any parrents listening mistakenly to the only adult that he has by his side ...Colin Firth but biggest mistake he doesn't listen to his heart so its an empty road in the end but don't forget that he never been taught to listen to his heart because of the abssence of his family.So family is the winner. Excellent director , excellent cast , colin firth is one of my favorite actors excellent acting , Ben Barnes not only excellent acting but brilliant acting taking place ,Rebecca Hall as Emily Wotton excellent acting but Rachel Hurd-Wood as Sybil Vane attractive but not too innocent enough to convince.A Film that when watching the pop corn will stay in your hands... Don't miss this film!!!
Now my expectations of this film though not totally depriving the cast and crew of their hard work, was that of 'well I looks good' and 'well it's got two very handsome men, I don't mind that at all'. But I got lost in the story! Never mind the cast, applause to you all but it did Oscar Wilde very well. Not the chick flick the adverts would have you believe. it's a powerful film full of intrigue, love lust temptation and demonstrates just how far people can be prepared to go to have that everlasting youth, that is forever portrayed in picture/ photos. It is more <more>
relevant today than ever with not just fame and the life and status of celebrities but of the everyday person and the strive for acceptance, comfort and not to be alone. Without being overly preachy. It was far more dark and sinister and yet funny in some parts than I expected. Fantastic film. And as I always say, watch without prejudice and or expectations, to avoid disappointment!It may sound like a cliché but the eyes are the window to the soul
I wish Hollywood would make films like this. (by garyvanhorn)
Based on Oscar Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray is a compelling story about a young English nobleman who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for eternal youth. The story begins in late nineteenth century England, where Dorian Gray Ben Barnes has just inherited his familial estate following the death of his father. Gray is young, naive, and wholly innocent, at least until he befriends Lord Henry Watton Colin Firth . Watton is an avid believer, though not a practitioner, of a hedonistic lifestyle. Every pleasure should be sampled, every desire indulged. The <more>
young Dorian Gray is completely taken in by this philosophy, thus begins his long, slow decent into corruption and madness.Early in Dorian's slide, Basil Hallward Ben Chaplin paints a stunning portrait of Dorian Gray. So remarkable is the painting that Gray agrees to exchange his soul for the eternal youth captured in the picture. Thus the picture becomes a mirror, reflecting the quality of Dorian Gray's soul.Both Ben Barnes and Colin Firth turn in terrific performances. I particularly liked Ben Barnes' transformation from naive young man into a cruel, murderous monster who has remained timeless as the world grows old around him. The sets are spectacular, showing all the splendor of nineteenth century England, mixed with the Gothic horror that becomes Dorian Gray's life. Dorian Gray is a fantastic cinematic adaptation of a classic novel.
This movie was a great update of the original movie and the Dorian Gray in this movie was much more attractive than the original. Maybe the original was attractive in his day, but I never thought so. In this movie, Dorian Gray's father dies and he inherits his fathers estate. When he comes into the home, he seems to be very pure with no hint of what he will become. He comes into contact with a very immoral man who introducing him to smoking, drinking and women. During the first part of the movie, Dorian is having his portrait done and upon it's completion, it has a debut. After <more>
meeting the man who provides him with vices, Dorian sees a change in the picture. He moves the picture out of the public eye and pursues as much debauchery as possible. Being that one can only party so much, Dorian finally develops a conscience and wants to change his ways, but is it too late?
First of all, I was only motivated because I am a huge fan of Ben Barnes. To see him from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian to Dorian Gray was a huge jump for me. I've never read the book to this movie, but I found this very interesting, and it's pushing me to read the book for comparisons of the two. I think Ben Barnes a great actor. He can be dramatic, soft and anything. To see him whore himself and relish on pleasure in this movie was kind of... strange for me. I can see why so many sexual scenes were necessary for this movie because he is a youthful man simply enjoying the <more>
world of women and money. I thought it was a bit confusing how he attained the ability to live eternally. It wasn't clear how, but it later explains it. He bartered for his eternal youth by letting the portrait of him suffer instead of the real him. The movie was really dark and bittersweet. And you can definitely see clearly how Dorian has changed throughout the movie. I gave this a 9 out of 10 because it deserved it.
i have to admit, i had my doubts about this movie at first. After reading the odd couple of reviews, i wasn't entirely sure if this film was for me. i am not a fan of horror and, like quite a few people i suspect, was put off slightly by the "horror" classification that most reviews seemed to mention. However, as it turns out, it is not like your conventional thriller.i have never read the book, and so i cannot compare it to the film, but the story was extremely enjoyable. A young man who trades his soul to the devil in exchange for eternal youth and beauty, after seeing an <more>
incredibly lifelike portrait of himself, does not seem entirely unrealistic given todays cult of appearance-obsessed celebrity youth, and in fact most of the film stuck to the realms of reality. Set against a beautiful Victorian style backdrop of London, the film managed to mirror life through a visually delightful time period that managed to modernise itself in its content, and maintained a nice contrast between light and dark throughout.I was also throughly impressed with the casting. Ben Barnes was the perfect choice for Dorian Gray himself, managing the conversion between the innocent young man, to the seductive charmer, to the fear-possessed psychopath effortlessly. Add that to the fact that he is breathtakingly perfect, and even as an audience you begin to be drawn into his youth and extreme beauty. Colin Firth was unlike anything i've ever seen him in before, much in contrast with his cheery "mamma mia" role, as he played Dorian's enticer, lord henry. Harsh and often sexist, he very much had a "frankensteins creator" character, desperately striving to corrupt Dorian's innocent nature. Ben Chaplain was also good as the creator of Dorian's special portrait, Basil. And then of course there were Dorian's two main love interests, Rachel Hurd-Wood and Rebecca Hall, both of their characters bringing contrasting characters to Dorian's affections.As for the content of the film, it had what i believe most good films should contain - a shock. And it certainly shocked. It opens with a scene which you are certainly not expecting, but succeeds in capturing your interest for sure. It then falls into a kind of lull as we meet the innocent and gorgeous Ben Barnes, but then hypes up again as we are introduced to rude and obnoxious Colin firth. The film continues in this fashion for the majority of the time, with a few unexpected shocks along the way as Dorian begins his soul destructing spiral. There is obvious sexual content but it is certainly not excessive, and plenty of mild drug and alcohol abuse too, although again the film does not go overboard with these. Also, there is a reasonable amount of gore, although not enough to spoil your enjoyment of the film, and these moments are also fairly obvious and so the squeamish including myself can simply close their eyes during these short scenes. The only other thing to mention is the horror which occurs at the end of the film when Dorian's painting reveals his mutilated soul. I personally didn't watch this bit and would certainly recommend to those who don't enjoy being scared to not watch it either, as it is apparently rather intense, but again, it is also fairly obvious of when it will occur.Dorian Gray is a fabulous, fast paced drama-thriller that provokes thought into our own "celebrity" lifestyle and the pressures we put on appearance, as well as a visual description of the price of eternal beauty on the soul. I would definitely recommend this film - it is truly picture perfect.
Excellent modern adaptation, does Oscar Wilde justice (by larry-411)
I attended the World Premiere of "Dorian Gray" at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. Starring Colin Firth and Ben Barnes, this newest adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic Gothic horror story was directed by Oliver Parker from a Toby Finlay script. Set in Victorian England, Gray Barnes and his mentor Lord Henry Wotton Firth embark on an adventure that will lead them down paths they could never have imagined. I'll leave it at that for those unfamiliar with the story."Dorian Gray" is definitely a crowd pleaser. Ben Barnes is on screen almost every second <more>
from opening to closing credits and is frighteningly brilliant as the titular character. Together, Barnes and Firth carry the film.As a period piece, art and set direction are unsurpassed. Roger Pratt's cinematography flawlessly places the viewer into the hazy London setting and the costumes are stunning. Capturing both the deplorable conditions of the urban poor as well as the debauchery of the moneyed class is critical and perfectly executed here.Parker's take on the story is dark and surreal, placing slightly more emphasis on the real than imagined. Today's technical abilities allow the images to be more explicit than in the previous black and white version of the story, so visual and special effects are dramatic and effective.
Enjoyable Version of Oscar Wilde's Novel (by claudio_carvalho)
After the death of his grandfather, the naive and pure Dorian Gray Ben Barnes returns to the Victorian London, where he befriends the talented painter Basil Hallward Ben Chaplin and the corrupt Lord Henry Wotton Colin Firth . Basil paints Dorian's portrait and gives the beautiful painting to him while Henry corrupts his mind and soul telling that Dorian should seek pleasure in life. Dorian makes a deal with the devil, trading his soul to keep his beauty and youth, while his picture ages and displays the effects of his corrupt life. He leaves his fiancée Sibyl Vane Rachel Hurd-Wood <more>
that is pregnant and commits suicide and lives a self-destructive life of orgies and drugs. Dorian Gray travels abroad for many years and when he returns to London, his friends are aged while he is still the same. When Dorian meets Henry's daughter Emily Wotton Rebecca Hall , they fall in love with each other and Dorian wants to revert his life. However it is too late for salvation and his soul that is trapped in the painting is doomed. "Dorian Gray" is an enjoyable version of Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. When I was a teenager, this novel was one of my favorites; I do not recall details of the book, but I liked this adaptation a lot that has a wonderful cinematography, great acting and a good screenplay. The relationship of Dorian and Sybil should be longer and better developed, but to adapt a novel to the screen, it is necessary to have the capability of being concise and the screenplay writer never disappoints. My vote is eight.Title Brazil : "O Retrato de Dorian Gray" "The Picture of Dorian Gray"