The Picture of Dorian Gray | Chicago Reader

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Writer-director Duncan Roy updates the action of Oscar Wilde's 1891 novel to contemporary New York in this disappointing adaptation. Rich, handsome Dorian (former child star David Gallagher), darling of the downtown gallery/club scene, is the subject of a video installation by Basil Hallward (the excellent Noah Segan), a gay artist who's obsessed with him. As the years pass, Dorian's youthful looks endure while the video registers the hideous effects of age and debauchery. Roy emphasizes the tale's homoerotic subtext and violent implications, turning Dorian's moral crisis into a banal fear of being “queer.” As Dorian's mentor, Christian Camargo delivers Wilde's paradoxical aphorisms about love and beauty with an appropriate sense of ennui, but the stylishly fragmented narrative obscures the story. 97 min.

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