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Sort of "okay"

  • Nov 22, 2008
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(2005 version with Ben Kingsley)

Not quite as Dickens wrote it
And lacks even one song
This remake's sort of "okay"
But it's two whole hours long

The classic orphan story
With artistic liberty
It casts out Ollie's half-brother
And Brownslow's family

The actors are all very good
It's not their fault the plot
Doesn't focus on the sordid tale's
workhouses and what-not

When remade as a musical
It gained a certain charm
But this version's a trifle flat
With no cause for alarm

On the color scale it's kind of brown
It's neither here nor there
Except for Kingsley's Fagin turn
Done with his normal flair

It's worth a look, I'll give it that
With no great hue and cry
Without a doubt the shining star's
Bill Sikes's dog Bullseye

(Rated: 3.5 stars)

Amanda Richards

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More Oliver Twist (2005 movie) reviews
review by . December 04, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Acting, sets      Cons: The last half of the film is paced badly and can be hard to follow      The Bottom Line: Watch the first half of the movie then read the last half of the novel. Recommended with reservations.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot.      I think with Oliver Twist, Roman Polanski bit off more than he could chew.      The story …
review by . January 25, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Charles Dickens' famous story of the perseverance of the individual in the crumbling society of poverty in mid 19th century London has been scripted for film many times: the catalogue lists 19 versions and that doesn't include some films using the matrix of the story only. The results are variably successful: David Lean's 1948 version is brilliant, Renny Rey's 4 part mini series in 1999 was good, Tony Bill's TV film in 1999 had the flavor, the musical version 'Oliver!' was a resounding success, …
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Amanda Richards ()
Ranked #39
I write reviews for a hobby. Most of my reviews are short and to the point, on account of my short attention span. I try to make my reviews both informative and entertaining, and sometimes I succeed. … more
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About this movie


Roman Polanksi's adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel.

If Charles Dickens were alive to see Roman Polanski's faithful adaptation ofOliver Twist, he'd probably give it his stamp of approval. David Lean's celebrated1948 versionof the Dickens classic and Carol Reed'sOscar®-winning 1968 musicalare more entertaining in some ways, but Polanski's rendition is both painstakingly authentic (with superb cinematography and production design) and deeply rooted in the emotional context of the story. Both Polanski and Dickens had personal experiences similar to those of young Oliver (played here by Barney Clark) -- Polanski in the Nazi-occupied ghettos of Poland during World War II, and Dickens during his hard-scrabble youth in Victorian London -- and this spiritual kinship lends a certaingravitasto the tale of a tenacious orphan who escaped from indentured servitude in London society and is taken in by Fagin (Ben Kingsley) and his streetwise gang of pickpockets. As the evil Bill Sykes, who exploits Oliver for his own nefarious needs, Jamie Foreman is no match for Oliver Reed (in the '68 musical) in terms of frightening menace, but even here, Polanski's direction hews closer to Dickens, while the screenplay by Ronald Harwood (who also wrote Polanski'sThe Pianist) necessarily trims away subplots and characters for the sake of narrative economy. All in all, thisOliver Twistrises above most previous versions, and with the benefit of Kingsley's ...
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Genre: Drama
Release Date: September 23, 2005
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: January 24, 2006
Runtime: 130 minutes
Studio: TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures
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