Friday, 12 March 2010


I watched this with no expectations of enjoying it but was very pleasantly surprised. Very. Oliver Parker has made a very respectable version that, despite elaborations and a fleshing out of the characters with a bit of back story, does not stray very far from the spirit of Oscar Wilde's classic original. Even better is the fact that the director is content to tell the story at a leisurely pace with literate dialogue rather than aiming it at the "fast forward" MTV audience. The film looks beautiful even if such locations as The Royal Naval College at Greenwich seem to turn up in films set in the Victorian era with predictable regularity. Older horror fans will spot a reuse of the Columbrarium at Highgate Cemetery which was used in TALES FROM THE CRYPT and THE ABOMINABLE DR.PHIBES as well as other horror films. The cast is excellent with Ben Barnes striking just the right note as the rather torn souless Dorian. Colin Firth seemed to me an odd choice as Lord Henry but is just about perfect. Rebecca Hall plays Lord Henry's daughter with an appealing mixture of gawkiness and sincerity that I found very attractive and refreshing. Nice to see Fiona Shaw again although she is rather wasted in a minor role that makes little use of her considerable talents. All in all I was pleasantly impressed by this film. Rating ****

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

I didn't even know this existed. Sounds intriguing.