I dare anybody to watch this Dickens film through with dry eyes! Anybody that claims he or she did has a nonchalant way with the truth, if you ask me. Director McGrath has made a number of tough, but altogether valid choices concerning what to skip and what to keep in his film of Dickens' marathon novel in order to keep the running time just barely within two hours. I can just see Dickens nodding benignly from up above. Charlie Hunnam is angelic, but also unsentimental as the gentle Nicholas, separated from his mother and sister, as after the death of his father they surrender themselves to the mercy of his cynical brother. The heart of the plot is Nicholas' friendship with the cripple Smike (Jamie Bell is brilliant, simply brilliant), a boy that he saves from the archetypal sadistic Dickensian orphanage. McGrath's film is positively brimming with eloquent supporting actors, and in the late autumn of his career Christopher Plummer proves himself to be quite the actor in what may amount to his best part ever as the cruel uncle. I can even recommend the extras on the extra DVD, they are to the point and for once not a complete waste of time.
22 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?