I recently viewed Roman Polsanski's Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens' story of an orphaned boy attempting to survive19th century London. I thought it was very well done - the acting was top-notch with the sets wonderfully re-creating 19th century London.The overall atmosphere was very Dickens-ian.. The story is condensed from the original source material - necessary since the original material is about 300 pages! So, some of the twists and turns of the original have been elminated or changed to fit the set of characters presented here (ie, they used the core set of characters from the book thus minor characters and their roles in the plot were eliminated or given to the characters used here).
I didn't realize that Fagin was played by the wonderful Ben Kingsley! That's how good he is and how good the makeup/atmosphere is. 9 year old Barney Clark did a fine job as Oliver while 14 year old Harry Eden makes a fine Artful Dodger.
The DVD has several special features - including behind the scenes featurettes with Polanski and a small piece on Barney Clark.
I'll give this one 3 of 5 stars.
I would also highly recommend Polanski's The Pianist. The story follows a Polish Jewish pianist as he attempts to survive the horrors of World War II. The film is fairly depressing, but it too is wonderfully presented with the ending providing inspiration. Another 3 of 5 stars!
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