Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket ... See full summary »
A young American woman (Sydne Rome) traveling through Italy finds herself in a strange Mediterranean villa where nothing seems right. Her visit becomes an absurd, decadent, oversexed ... See full summary »
Oliver Twist is an orphan, who is soon kicked out of the orphanage and thrown into a terrible home. The bad treatment Oliver receives, forces him to run off to London. Here, he is soon picked up by the Artful Dodger and taken to Fagin. Fagin treats Oliver well, but is it the life Oliver really wants? Written by
The idea of making a new version of "Oliver Twist" was suggested by Emmanuelle Seigner, director Roman Polanski's wife, while he was looking for a plot that their children would find interesting. See more »
The shop "John Lobb - Bootmaker" is visible in the background in London. The story takes place in the late 1830s, but the well- known London boot maker John Lobb wasn't founded until 1866. See more »
You're like yourself tonight, Bill.
[puts his hand on Bill's shoulder]
Quite like yourself.
Well I don't feel like myself when you lay that wicked old claw on my shoulder, so take it away!
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Though Polanski's Oliver Twist is a superficially conventional retelling of the story, this is Polanski, and the truth about pain is here if you are paying attention.
There was little that Charles Dickens didn't know about human nature. Who better to interpret his work for the screen than the similarly gifted Roman Polanski.
Polanski's film allows everyone their humanity. Even the extras who people the immaculately designed sets, seem to have a life outside of this film. Ben Kingsley's performance as Fagin is not held in aspic in old age, but is full of hints about his earlier life. Oliver's sufferings seem to mirror that of children in many places and in all times. When it is alleviated it is not by those worldly motivations of charity or civil duty. While a carriage full of prosperous people studiously ignore his plight, a poor old woman who has little herself cares for him. While the wealthy city is content for him to die on the street, a criminal feeds him. When Oliver finally takes his place in the middle class, a priggish religiosity reminds us of Victorian society's cure for criminality. In the end Polanski knows and Dickens asserts that individual decency and humanity alone provide hope.
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