Review of Dorian Gray (2009)

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This film looked very promising when I first saw the DVD cover simply because Ben Barnes’ lovely face and luscious hair were starring back at me.

That being said, that was the most promising part of the film. The film grasped the general ideas, sure enough, but there was definitely something missing. And although it was very visually appealing, the production lavish and well done, it just did not live up to the vision that Oscar Wilde entailed from the novel.

Rating: 7/12 Extra points for beauty in my book. We always want a visually stimulating movie, and visual stimulant we got.

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1991- “Silence of the Lambs” – Guest Review

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Director: Jonathon Demme

Release Date: February 14, 1991

Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

I asked for collaboration and collaboration I got!

Here is a review of Silence of the Lambs by commenter, Annietiques

“I, too, am no fan of horror films……but, there are aspects of this film that are remarkable, many of the scenes are shot in and around Pittsburgh; some in the old stone county jail (also the setting for the movie Mrs. Soffel) designed by Henry Richardson. It s a magnificent structure which still stands today. A dear friend of mine was a set dresser on this movie and shared many interesting tidbits about its filming…..he, too, was too scared to watch it in it’s final form!!” – Annietiques

Thanks so much to Annietiques for her thoughts on the film!

Now, even though I have not seen this film, it still stands to say that this film will be around for years to come. And not just because of those that enjoy the horror genre. Specifically, this film won “Best Picture” because it succeeded in all the aspects that go into making a film great. It not only won “Best Picture” but also 4 other awards. Anthony Hopkins won “Best Actor in a Leading Role”, along with Jodie Foster who won “Best Actress in a Leading Role”. Director Jonathan Demme won “Best Director” and Ted Tally won “Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published“.

Oscar Wilde- The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)

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If you’ve ever seen/heard about the show Supernatural, then you’ll be very much aware that those boys are constantly selling their souls in order to prevent the other from dying or from going to hell. However, even with them selling their souls in order to avoid such things, they still died multiple times and have subsequently gone to hell, one even ended up in purgatory with a trench coated angel. But the difference here is, Sam and Dean sold their souls in order to save someone other than themselves and selflessness was not something that was on Dorian Gray’s mind.

Wanting to stay young is a very appealing idea to most people. I, however, doubt that many of them would be willing to sell their souls in order to do so. Although, I don’t know everyone in the world so I wouldn’t really know what lengths people are willing to go to.

That being said, the gist of the novel is that this really handsome guy, Dorian Gray, gets his pictures painted and he sees just how beautiful and perfect he is in the painting, something he hadn’t really noticed about himself before. *The point here is that he wasn’t aware of his own beauty until he saw it on a canvas*. Then as time goes on he begins to constantly worries about his own mortality and the old age that goes along with it. Then, he utters the words he can never take back…Dorian Gray

And that’s how you do it boys and girls. Presto chango!! Soul sold to the devil!

So as you can imagine, if the picture is the one getting old and Dorian isn’t, then Dorian gets to keep his 20 something baby face for all eternity. Here’s the catch, however, as there is always a catch with soul selling. Not only does the picture get old but it also starts showing all of Dorian’s sins in a really disgusting grotesque manner. Picture puss filled boils that are just aching to explode. So while Mr. Gray is out having the time of his life romping it up without whoever and whomever he wants the pictures just gets nastier and nastier by the day. So of course the only logical thing to do is hide it away from prying eyes.

Then he goes all “Tell Tale Heart” on us and there is murder of sorts and basically all hell breaks lose. Which is ironic because Dorian did in fact sell his soul to the King of Hell. Go figure.

So after all of that, I just have to say that I adore this novel. I read if for the first time this past summer and it is just one of a kind. It is beautifully written and it’s a story that makes you rethink all the ways in which you would like to stay young and beautiful. Even more so, it explores why we want to stay young and beautiful. It seems that even in the 1800’s, looks still dominated society. But beauty isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, obviously. Oscar Wilde shows the world, in a paranoid schizophrenic sort of way, why we should learn to be content with ourselves just the way we are and why we should also find a way to come to terms with our own mortality. We will all get old some day and we will all die someday. It’s the just the way life works. There’s no escaping that sort of fate without facing severe consequences. What is most interesting about this novel is the idea that everything we despise about ourselves or things that we perceive to be sinful, can be seen on the outside instead of buried underneath layers of a tough exterior. It makes you rethink that way you choose to live your life. If you knew that people could see the things you do all the time, would that make you think twice about doing them?

It makes you wonder if we all would be haunted by our most terrible and shameful parts if they were to stare directly back at us.

My rating: 11/12 If you have the desire, I highly recommend picking up a copy.

Questions:

Just what is it about a baby face that we find so appealing?

Do we have a weird Miley Cyrus type obsession with being young or, as in her case, dressing up like adult babies?

Would you want yourself immortalized in paint? Does it make you look thinner, unlike the camera which adds ten pounds?