Dorian Gray

Published July 24, 2010

Dorian Gray

Film info

  • Title Dorian Gray
  • Director Oliver Parker
  • Year 2009
  • Run time 1hr 52m
  • Genres Fantasy, Drama, Thriller
  • Tagline Forever young, forever cursed

Ben Barnes takes the title role in this 2009 adaptation of Oscar Wilde's 1891 novel. When Dorian arrives in London he is introduced to a rakish, dissolute lifestyle by the larger-than-life character of Lord Henry Wotton (Colin Firth). When one of Wotton's artist friends paints Dorian's portrait, Dorian makes an offhand vow to always stay as young and handsome as he is in the picture, even at the cost of his soul. As his behaviour becomes ever more corrupt and hedonistic, Dorian's comely countenance remains unchanged; but the portrait begins to tell a different story...

Live Blog

Time Comment
0:30 So, I have seen the original and now I’m watching the remake - a first for Film Watch?
1:51 The original was quite slow paced. The trailer made this look action packed. I wonder which this will be.
3:19 He’s a great look for the role. Mostly beautiful but kinda odd-looking too.
6:01 That’s a piano that needs retuning.
9:53 In the first film, I’m pretty sure I was like: “Who is that man to talk to him like that?” I am getting the same feeling now.
13:32 It must be tricky to make ‘painting a picture’ sinister.
18:16 Ooh, that is a really good painting.
22:19 An actress in this, not a singer.
24:17 She’s wearing an awful lot of makeup. How can he see through that?
26:39 I feel bad for Basil. He tries so hard and silly Colin Firth is such a bad influence.
29:34 Ooh, that’s Emilia Fox! Yay!
32:46 “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”
43:22 He doesn’t like hugging.
45:35 How rude to take the painting down and rub it in Basil’s face.
50:00 Woah. He is properly evil.
53:50 SNAKE!
1:03:15 How could you live with yourself? Really?
1:06:26 “The child is imminent.” I like that.
1:06:44 What an awesome graveyard. Is that real or green screen?
1:08:49 Ooh, look, they all got old.
1:14:56 He did actually care about her then. That’s good to know.
1:17:33 You’d think he might have changed his hair in all that time. Or maybe he can’t.
1:20:39 It can’t be a good idea to get involved with his best friend’s daughter.
1:24:32 Blimey, the old butler man is still alive.
1:39:17 Did Harry figure it all out?
1:40:59 It’s fitting that Harry found him out seeing as he was the one who made him like that.
1:46:20 How did the picture survive the fire?


The original film was one of the iTunes 99p films of the week a while back, and I watched it. Back then, I noted that it was probably there because the new film was floating around. Who knew it would also appear as a 99p film too?

As remakes go, this one certainly wasn’t offensive to the original, but I just didn’t get the same sense of tension and fear and confusion, all the things that the slow burning story needs. There’s not actually much plot, is there, a guy swaps places with a picture, so it’s all about the characters instead. These days, that’s tricky to pull off with movies needing action, and I don’t think the balance was quite right here.

Rating: 2 / 5

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