Dorian Gray (2009)

Dorian Gray is a 2009 fantasy, thriller, drama film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's 1890 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. This version is directed by Oliver Parker, written by Toby Finlay (his first screenplay), and stars Ben Barnes as Dorian Gray and Colin Firth as Lord Henry Wotton.

Plot: When a naïve young Dorian Gray (Barnes) arrives in a train to Victorian London, he is swept into a social whirlwind by the charismatic Lord Henry Wotton (Firth), who introduces Gray to the hedonistic pleasures of the city. Lord Henry's friend, society artist Basil Hallward (Ben Chaplin), paints a portrait of Gray to capture the full power of his youthful beauty. When the portrait is unveiled, Gray makes a flippant pledge: he would give anything to stay as he is in the picture—even his soul.

Gray meets and falls in love with young budding actress Sibyl Vane (Rachel Hurd-Wood). After a few weeks, he proposes marriage to her, but after Lord Henry tells Gray that having children is "the beginning of the end", he takes Gray to a brothel. This breaks Sibyl's heart as Gray leaves her; drowning herself soon after. Gray learns of this next day from her brother "Jim" (James), who tells Gray that Sybil was pregnant. Jim then tries to kill Gray before being restrained and carried off by the authorities. Gray's initial grief disappears as Lord Henry persuades him that all events are mere experiences and without consequence, and his hedonistic lifestyle worsens, distancing him from a concerned Hallward.

Gray goes home to find the portrait of himself warped and twisted and realises that his pledge has come true; while the portrait ages, its owner's sins are shown as physical defects on the canvas. The chaos of the portrait of Gray starts, leading him to brutally kill Hallward after telling him his secret, dumping the body in the River Thames.

The film, which was released in the United Kingdom on 9 September 2009, competed in the Official Fantàstic Competition at the 2009 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival.


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