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Unimaginatively directed and poorly scripted, it lacks the pace or depth of previous adaptations. Disney have stripped the story to its bare bones and taken considerable artistic licence even with those. What results is a pedestrian amateurish effort entirely bereft of the humanity, complexity and grit of the original novel.
What makes the failure of this film even more remarkable is that, on paper at least, it would seem to have had an enormous potential. Boasting the names of Oscar Winner Richard Dreyfuss and the talented Elijah Wood among its cast and with the budgetary power of Disney behind it, `Oliver Twist' ought to have succeeded. The film was also shot entirely in Ireland at a location near to the spectacular Wicklow Mountains. Seemingly determined to make the worst of their resources the makers have allowed their `Oliver Twist' to be made, mainly, on a series of completely unconvincing indoor sets. Even the few outdoor scenes might just as well have been shot on a set due to the simplistic camera-work involved. The opening sequence in the hills pales into insignificance when compared to that of David Lean's brooding masterpiece and the scenes set in Industrial Revolution London are entirely lacking in realism.
As regards the cast, Alex Trench in the title role comes off poorly, being utterly unable to invoke the audience's sympathy with a performance that collapses under the burden of poor direction. Richard Dreyfuss's Fagin is probably the most disappointing. Surely, with his proven abilities, he should be able to rise above the limitations of a lacklustre script and considerably modified character.Read more ›
One must also remember too, that this film was originally created for television.
The cast is great, especially Elijah Wood who played the Artful Dodger and Antoine Byrne who played Nancy. The young boy who played Oliver could have been a little better prepared for the part, but still he did a wonderful job. I have also never seen anyone portray Fagin in such an amusing manner as Richard Dreyfuss.
Overall the film is fun as well as funny and is sure to be an enjoyment to the entire family. For those who want to see a film that is based more closely to the novel I would suggest trying another version.
The whole cast is American and have the most laughably awful English accents - to the point where it is distracting. Richard Dreyfuss and Elijah Woods accent slip every other word.
Oliver is supposed to be a fragile, deeply saddened little boy (the book will make you cry for me) but the 'actor' who plays him comes across as a happy-go-lucky kid who is always seen smiling. He has no facial expression and can't project a single emotion.
Fagan, who is played by Dreyfuss,is supposed to be a heartless, shady, and crafy character but instead comes across like Santa Clauss. I keep expecting him to burst into song. The only way you can tell the character is angry is when you get the Jaws-type disonnant music - without it, you wouldn't even know.
Not only is the acting bad, but the story is changed dramatically - some characters that are pertinent to the story are cut out completely.
If you have or have not read Dickens (you really ought to read it) it is a sad, disturbing and heart renching tale of a little boys horrendous life. This grittiness is NOT at all evident in this interpretation. If you want a smaltsy movie, go rent a Disney flick like Lion King or something, coz Oliver Twist is NOT suposed to be like that.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful and entertaining even tough like the book it is dark and hard to watch at timesPublished 5 months ago by Edward Kirven
This movie is such a captivating and sweet rendition of the classic story. The actors did a very good job, and the storyline was excellently portrayed.Published 7 months ago by moi
While the performances were OK, the screenplay strays too far from the original novel to be exciting. Read morePublished 13 months ago by George Hill
The dvd arrived on time and it works. Not anywhere as good as the 1969 production/Published 19 months ago by Jay R