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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 »
British couple Fiona and Nigel Dobson are sailing to Istanbul en route to India. They encounter a beautiful French woman, and that night Nigel meets her while dancing alone in the ship's ... See full summary »
Kristin Scott Thomas,
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 Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist has many more characters and subplots than can be fit into a just-over-2-hours film. This version narrows down and streamlines the story to focus on Oliver Twist, Mr. Brownlow, Fagin, Bill Sikes, Nancy, and the Artful Dodger. The novel's other characters Mr. Bumble, Mrs. Mann, Mrs. Corney, Noah Claypole, Charlotte, Mr. Monks, the Maylie family, the Fleming family, and the Leeford family, are all either relegated to brief cameo roles or omitted entirely from the story. 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 »
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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