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The Dying Gaul

R 2005 1h 41m Drama LGBTQ+ List
51% Tomatometer 69 Reviews 52% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings
A gay writer (Peter Sarsgaard) befriends a Hollywood hotshot (Campbell Scott) and his wife (Patricia Clarkson). Read More Read Less
The Dying Gaul

What to Know

Critics Consensus

Though it has a fine cast, The Dying Gaul's plot feels calculated and too intellectualized.

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Critics Reviews

View All (69) Critics Reviews
Nick Schager finds it difficult to infuse humanity into a character who essentially functions as a dramatic device Rated: 3/5 Mar 20, 2006 Full Review Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel The Dying Gaul isn't dead on arrival. But its death throes are only as interesting as the actors, characters and dialogue can make them. Rated: 3/5 Dec 16, 2005 Full Review Chris Vognar Dallas Morning News The film plays for keeps: It hurts and it doesn't back away from messy questions about art, commerce and conscience. Rated: B+ Dec 6, 2005 Full Review David Lamble Bay Area Reporter Lucas neatly evokes an LA world he knows all too well, where beautiful people live in glass houses, virtual private museums, catch-basins for the collective wisdom of Western Civilization, wisdom its current owners seem blithely clueless about. May 7, 2020 Full Review Jennie Kermode Eye for Film Rated: 4/5 Dec 7, 2007 Full Review Jette Kernion Cinematical An absorbing, fascinating film, but disturbing and a little grim. Rated: 3/5 Apr 8, 2007 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (130) audience reviews
william s Went off the deep end quick and clobbers the audience with how intelligent and artsy it is.....pathetic. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Such a shame that this cast is brought together and then they make this boring, pretentious movie. Peter Sarsgaard is the only reason I could get all the way through it. Patricia Clarkson is annoying as usual. Hollywood needs a reality check. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member Writer-director Craig Lucas's first directorial debut does indeed look like a film directed by someone who doesn't know the craft. "Amateurish" is the first word that comes to mind from watching "The Dying Gaul" as the visual storytelling looks unhoned and clumsily composed. It still doesn't mean that the film wouldn't be good. Direction aside, the script and the acting is so superb that the obvious problems in cinematic execution are merely a distraction. The movie feels almost like a piece of filmed theatre. The story is about Elaine and Jeffrey Tishop, a married couple in a contended but slightly stagnated relationship, played by Patricia Clarckson and Cambell Scott. Into their lives enters Robert (Peter Sarsgaard) a scriptwriter whose project Jeffrey is producing. Robert has recently lost a lover to AIDS and is distraught at the movie studio's plea to change his brilliant script inspired by the tragedy from being about gay lovers into being a heterosexual love tragedy. Robert gets more and more tangled with the Tishops, forming a deep friendship with Elaine, a friendship that has echoes of romance in it. Then he enters into a secret sexual affair with Jeffrey. The tragedies of the three characters form into a complicated tangle of conflicting emotions, self-delusions and secrets within secrets. "The Dying Gaul" is a splendidly nuanced and perfectly mature exploration of the incongruences in human behavior. The characters act in ways they can't control or find justification for, and the overall point of view avoids cheap moralism at all costs. There are no clichéd outbursts usually associated with relationship dramas of this sort, the focus is on the characters' inner actions more than their outward expressions. I may not be convinced about Craig Lucas's talents as a director, but he sure proves himself a unique writer. And with such a stellar trio starring, his story is guaranteed to move you however severely the cinematic presentation struggles with its form. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member Tries to be relevant but ends up being dull. The Dying Gaul should have had some passion burning in it soull but even great actors sometimes cannot rise above a script or poor direction. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member I... kind of don't have much to say about this movie. It's strange yet fascinating, with no clear good guys or bad guys to necessarily root for. All of the characters are morally ambiguous, dark and flawed, although only one really takes these aspects to their fatal extreme. Also, I take it this movie is set back in the 90s because nobody uses floppy disks anymore. The actors all did a fantastic job with the material and I also thought the cinematography was really well-done too. Very beautiful and haunting, especially with some of the scene cut choices. However, I could see the ending coming after the characters' fall-out. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member I wish I had'nt wasted my time. Life is too short for pointless junk like this. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 01/18/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Dying Gaul

My Rating


Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis A gay writer (Peter Sarsgaard) befriends a Hollywood hotshot (Campbell Scott) and his wife (Patricia Clarkson).
Craig Lucas
David Newman, Campbell Scott, George VanBuskirk, Lisa Zimble
Craig Lucas
Production Co
Holedigger Films Inc.
R (Language|Strong Sexual Content)
Drama, LGBTQ+
Original Language
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 1, 2012
Box Office (Gross USA)
1h 41m
Sound Mix
Dolby Digital