Dorian Gray

  • 15
  • Oliver Parker (2009)
  • UK / Cay / Can
  • 107 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Hesitantly falling between chintzy Hammer horror and cosy costume drama, director Oliver Parker's third Oscar Wilde adaptation (after The Importance of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband) is a sumptuous but bland affair. Ben Barnes stars as the titular handsome socialite who's lured by mentor Henry Wotton (Colin Firth, keeping the celebrated bon mots forcefully in check) into wanton ways, while his portrait bears the scars of his misdeeds. The main changes in this version of the story are the addition of a new character in the form of romantic interest Emily Wotton (Rebecca Hall) and the fact that the infamous portrait is depicted as a living entity, whose sudden CGI movements provide the odd frisson. Dissolves from jam scones to (tamely depicted) S&M orgies perfectly sum up the quaint awkwardness of this chocolate-box confection.

Plot Summary

Period horror based on the classic Oscar Wilde tale, starring Colin Firth and Ben Barnes. A young man newly arrived in London is drawn into a world of debauchery after being befriended by the calculating Lord Wotton. Despite the excesses of his new lifestyle, he remains a fresh-faced youth. But a portrait hidden in his attic tells a different story.

Cast and crew


Dorian Gray
Ben Barnes
Lord Henry Wotton
Colin Firth
Basil Hallward
Ben Chaplin
Emily Wotton
Rebecca Hall
Fiona Shaw
Lady Victoria Wotton
Emilia Fox
Sybil Vane
Rachel Hurd-Wood
Maryam D'Abo
Alan Campbell
Douglas Henshall
Jim Vane
Johnny Harris
Lady Radley
Caroline Goodall


Oliver Parker

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Violence, sex scenes, nudity and drug abuse.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 4 Sep 2009
Certificate 15