- Oliver Twist
David Lean’s celebrated 1948 version of the Dickens classic and Carol Reed’s Oscar®-winning 1968 musical are more entertaining in some ways, but Polanski’s rendition is both painstakingly authentic (with superb cinematography and production design) and deeply rooted in the emotional context of the narrative. Both Polanski and Dickens had personal experiences very similar to those of young Oliver (played by Barney Clark) — Polanski at the Nazi-occupied ghettos of Poland during World War II, and Dickens throughout his hard scrabble childhood in Victorian London — and also this spiritual kinship adds a certain gravitas into the narrative of a stubborn orphan who escaped by indentured servitude at London society and can be used by Fagin (Ben Kingsley) and his streetwise gang of pick pockets. Whilst the evil Bill Sykes, that broadcasts Oliver for their or her own particular wants, Jamie Foreman isn’t a game for Oliver Reed (from the ’68 musical) in terms of terrifying menace, but here, Polanski’s leadership hews closer to Dickens, as the screenplay by Ronald Harwood (who wrote Polanski’s The Pianist) of necessity trims a way sub plots and personalities for the sake of narrative market. In general this Oliver Twist climbs over all previous variants, and the advantage of Kingsley’s improved performance, Polanski gets to a compassionate finish that catches the essence of Dickens’ novel in a way that viewers of all ages will appreciate for many years to come.
- Moulin Rogue
“A dazzling and yet frequently maddening bid to bring the movie musical kicking and screaming into the 21st century, Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge bears no relation to the many previous films set in the famous Parisian nightclub. This may appear to be Paris in the 1890s, with can-can dancers, bohemian denizens like Toulouse-Lautrec (John Leguizamo), and ribaldry at every turn, but it’s really Luhrmann’s pop-cultural wonderland. Everyone and everything is encouraged to shatter boundaries of time and texture, colliding and careening in a fast-cutting frenzy that thinks nothing of casting Elton John’s “Your Song” 80 years before its time. Nothing is original in this kaleidoscopic, absinthe-inspired love tragedy–the words, the music, it’s all been heard before. But when filtered through Luhrmann’s love for pop songs and timeless showmanship, you’re reminded of the cinema’s power to renew itself while paying homage to its past. Luhrmann’s overall success with his third “red-curtain” extravaganza (following Strictly Ballroom and William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet) is wildly debatable: the scenario is simple to the point of silliness, and how can you appreciate choreography when it’s been diced into hash by attention-deficit editing? Still, there’s something genuine brewing between costars Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman (as, respectively, a poor writer and his unobtainable object of desire), and their vocal talents are impressive enough to match Luhrmann’s orgy of extraordinary sets, costumes, and digital wizardry. The movie’s novelty may wear thin, along with its shallow indulgence of a marketable soundtrack but Luhrmann’s inventiveness yields moments that border on ecstasy, when sound and vision point the way to a moribund genre’s joyously welcomed revival.
- Hard times
“An indictment of materialism and also a victory of the human soul. This critically acclaimed variation thoroughly and reliably understands the Charles Dickens classic in every of its emotional depth and ageless significance. Most importantly 19th-century Coketown, soot billows from the mills’ smokestacks like black flags. As the town’s leading citizen, Thomas Gradgrind values hard facts and unflinching reason above all else, and he teaches these values to his children, Louisa and Tom. Gradgrind’s friend, the self-made industrialist Josiah Bounderby, manages his mills with similar heartlessness–much to his profit. But a series of events shakes both men to their very core, causing profound pain to those around them and an eventual awakening. From the company that brought Brideshead Revisited and The Jewel in the Crown to the screen–and from the writer and director of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy–this production features Dickens’ unforgettable personalities fighting with unusually contemporary battles: the demands of tech versus the requirements of society and the technical power of materialism versus the ineluctable attraction of the human soul.
“This must be one of the better performances Gérard Depardieu has achieved, though I have not seen this movie over a decade I remember the storyline , exactly what a powerful movie it is ,it still left a very lasting impression on me personally. . .buy this movie that you may not be disappointed, so I’m amazed I’m the only person who’s analyzed this movie thus far , my proposal should you do decide to find this movie receive the French variant from English sub titles , I’m not certain when there was another variation in English it may possibly eliminate the mood and tone.