Ben Barnes plays Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde’s eternally young character whose beauty pulls everyone around him to their doom.
Meanwhile, his portrait in the attic ages horrifically as it reflects his depravity…
Director Oliver Parker, an ex-actor and Wilde veteran after making An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, turns in a plush, handsome film and does well by his performers, attentively bringing out the best in them.
Colin Firth is perfect, handling the Wildean witticisms brilliantly, as the creepy Svengali character Lord Henry Wotton who corrupts young Dorian and gets him to make a pact with the devil to stay young forever, and Ben Chaplin’s Basil Hallward is a stalwart creation.
Rebecca Hall, Douglas Henshall, Rachel Hurd-Wood and Emilia Fox are also among the familiar faces.