Dorian Gray (2009)

Directed by Oliver Parker. Written by Toby Finlay, based on the 1890 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Starring Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, Ben Chaplin, Emilia Fox, Fiona Shaw, Johnny Harris, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Pip Torrens and Rebecca Hall.

Plot: an attractive young man has his beauty and spirit captured in an enchanted painting that keeps him young.

Although this movie was very interesting, I’m entirely glad that I did not watch it with DJ. Geez is it sexual. Some of the most sexual scenes I’ve seen on film. I don’t know, maybe I need to watch more movies. Still, this was something else. The story follows Dorian Gray (Barnes), who comes to London and meets Basil Hallward (Chaplin), an artist and his friend, Lord Henry Wotton (Colin Firth), an awful man with an awful, hedonistic lifestyle. Being so kind, yet naive, Dorian is soon swept up by temptation.

Even after falling in love with Sybil Vane (Hurd-Wood), who he soon proposes to, Dorian begins to change. Basil paints his portrait and Wotton gets him into drugs and, of course, prostitutes. Sybil isn’t an imbecile though, and she soon catches him in a lie. Later, she kills herself because her fiance is horrible. At first, Dorian is visibly shaken by this, but then he realizes the truth of the painting.

The painting Basil did is now bleeding. When Dorian hurts, he is quickly healed and the painting bleeds in his place. It even manages to take away scars he had gotten years and years earlier. Dorian decides to hide the painting away because after taking on his worst, the portrait begins to look a mess. As a matter of fact, after a bit, the viewer isn’t even shown how bad the painting is becoming.

Eventually, Dorian’s dreadful behavior takes a turn for the even worse. His sexual escapades have him sleep with a young woman, then sleep with her mother while she is hiding under the bed, hearing everything. He even turns to murder when someone close to him recommends destroying the painting. In the end, we do see the painting and it is now decaying and has maggots coming out of it. Yuck.

In the end, which I won’t completely reveal, Wotton’s daughter (Hall) grows up and falls for Dorian which leads to his inevitable demise. I mean, it had to happen. The story is a cautionary tale really. Don’t be narcissistic. Don’t get too big for your britches. Etc. etc. etc. This really made me want to read the novel actually. I didn’t love it, but I liked it. It was a good story with a terrific cast. Ben Barnes and Colin Firth are both incredibly attractive, although Colin acting so disgracefully was not fun to watch.

It is also much more gross than scary. There’s boobs, but there’s almost too many boobs. You’ll see what I mean if you watch it. And if you do watch it, I have to warn you to watch it alone. Or at least not with platonic friends or family you don’t want to talk about sex with. I do recommend seeing it though.

My score: 59.

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