There's this thing about Colin Firth that cuts him out to be so perfect for Oscar Wilde's work. Not only is he the highlight of the new film Dorian Gray, but he was also masterful in 2002's rendition of The Importance of Being Ernest. Firth may not have much leeway in his choice of roles, but the way he slips out Wilde's witticisms makes one believe that he was made for it.
Overall, Dorian Gray is a very dark comedy. The film itself tries a little too hard to be artistic, which isn't too bad since it's fitting to the genre. Fans of Wilde's dry wit will appreciate the quips and the asides, while simultaneously feeling slightly disappointed that there aren't more of them. Barnes starts off weak, but works into his role later into the film, while Firth is definitely the reason to watch at all. For a culture that rapidly lowers the lowest common denominator for entertainment and comedy, Wilde's re-entrance (no matter how weak) to the arena is welcomed; now if only it were done a little better.