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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 »
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A wonderful and very modern retelling of a classic story. Quirky and charming in equal measures, this particular take on Oliver Twist is a worthy watch indeed, and even riveting at times. If you happen to come across a copy in your local video shop, I will personally vouch for this title as money well spent.
Though just a miniseries, I and several friends of mine all agreed that this adaptation of the Charles Dickens' novel may well have stood itself in good stead on the big screen. Sharp and clever pacing makes sure the viewers attention is continually upheld and a bouncing, almost vaudevillian soundtrack is used to wonderful effect (note the fantastic opening credits). The portrayal of London's squalid tenements are vividly painted in their every frame; costume and make-up were very skillfully handled.
Performances, on the whole, lean towards sparkling. Timothy Spall stole the show in his portrayal of Fagin; Tom Hardy made a startling and utterly believable turn as Bill Sikes. The female roles were excellently cast - Sophie Okonedo shone as the ill-fated Nancy; Morven Christie played the character of Rose with grace and heart; and Sarah Lancashire, in the role of Mrs Corny, was quite frankly fantastic. William Miller handled the role of Oliver admirably, never overacting - his utterance of the infamous "Please, sir, I want some more" sets the tone of his performance from the start.
I would urge anyone who asked to seek this title out. If the mixed reviews have left you doubting, ignore them. Grab a copy and make up your own mind. Gritty, smart, stylish and poignant, Coky Giedroyc and Sarah Phelps have birthed a winner in their adaptation of Oliver Twist. A gem.
Ten out of Ten
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