Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Oliver Twist |
Actors: Richard Dreyfuss, Elijah Wood, David O'Hara, Alex Trench, Antoine Byrne
Director: Tony Bill
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Television, Mystery & Suspense
The popular Dickens classic comes to life as never before with an all-star cast including Richard Dreyfuss (MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS) as the notorious Fagin, and Elijah Wood (THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy) as The Artful Dodger. ... more »
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Disney version is TWISTed beyond belief.
Hazen B Markoe | St. Paul, MN United States | 04/23/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"OLIVER TWIST, the Charles Dickens novel of crime and childhood corruption in Victorian England, is perhaps one of the most adapted works in film. With such classic characters such as the innocent Oliver Twist, the master-thief Fagin, the touching Nancy and the comical Mr. Bumble, adapting the novel to the screen has proved to be a filmmaker and actor's dream. Probably the best versions out today are the classic 1951 David Lean version and the merry 1968 musical version, OLIVER! Of course, there are many other film and TV versions as well. This 1997 version produced by Walt Disney Co. for their "Wonderful World of Disney" TV show is unfortunately one of the lesser versions of this classic tale despite some handsome production values. Part of the reasoning of this low opinion stems from a rather rambling screenplay that almost completely changes the title character (played by Alex Trench) from a put-upon victim into an overly spunky and almost overly abrasive tyke. It's not Trench's fault in that he does a good job with this rather false characterization, but he ends up seeming more suited to playing the Artful Dodger than Oliver Twist. In contrast, Elijah Wood's performance as the Artful Dodger comes across as overly mannered and laid back. As a result, his Dodger seems ill-equipped emotionally to be a "street educated" tough. The pivotal role of Fagin, that master teacher of young pickpockets, has undergone much revision since Dickens first created him. Originally a slimy, nasty Jewish stereotype, the character has been softened to the point of sometimes being comic relief. Of course, this is due to modern sensibilities that have dictated the de-emphasis on racial stereotypes. That in itself isn't a bad thing as Ron Moody's masterful performance in OLIVER! showed, but Richard Dreyfus seems ill-prepared in the role. Wandering around in a false nose and gravelly voice, Dreyfus is inconsistent in the role and turns a star turn into something merely average. David O' Hara and Antoine Byrne are more successful in their roles of the brutal Bill Sikes and his ill-fated lover, Nancy. Unfortunately, the screenplay gives these characters rather short shift and they don't get much of a chance to make an impression. Indeed, the movie streamlines the classic story to an almost absurd degree with the elimination of classic characters and situations such as Mr. Bumble and Oliver's apprenticeship to the funeral parlor of the cruel Sowerberrys. At about 90 minutes, the movie seems to go faster than it does because of the absurd trimming. The Walt Disney Company does not do the classic story justice and leaves the viewer feeling very unsatisfied as a result. This movie may be handsome to look at, but this is not a version that I would recommend. Stick with the classic David Lean or 1968 musical version for a better and more satisfying experience."
Elijah Wood Steals This Film
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As others have said, if you want a quality retelling of Dickens' "Oliver Twist," then turn to David Lean or the glorious musical version, and not this bland re-hash with possibly the weakest Oliver (not to mention writing and direction) that I have ever seen for this story. There are only two characters that partially redeem it: an earthy, maternal Nancy and an Artful Dodger that, as portrayed by Elijah Woods, may not be what Dickens had in mind, but certainly becomes someone you care about and want to save - much more so than the annoying Oliver, who has two facial expressions (wide-eyed and not wide-eyed), a shrill voice, and an unhealthy obsession with his mother's locket, which stalls the plot at the most unlikely moments. The double irony is that this rather stupid, greedy child (who discovers a conscience quite late) is rescued from the streets to enjoy a life of ease and comfort, while the infinitely more promising Artful Dodger (whose tender response to Oliver's bout of conscience is the most moving two minutes in the film) is carted off to jail - a quip from him being enough to stop this Oliver making any move to save him! It's enough to make you want the REAL film buried here - the one about Woods' Artful Dodger, caught between confused loyalties, sensitive and intelligent in a world merciless to both, protective of both Nancy and Oliver but powerless to help either, trying desperately to seem more callous than he is and to pretend to himself that he has chosen this life.... It's his tragedy that is almost buried in this dull film, but it's hard not to be grateful it was made, if only for those scenes lit from within by Woods' amazing talent."
Elijah Wood's British Accent is Horrible.
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I love Charles Dickens Oliver Twist story and I have seen some movies based on his book that were exceptionally good but this movie was horrific. Have you noticed that most of the positive 5 and 4 star reviews seem to be by girls who have major crushes on Elijah Wood. Sorry but I don't think they can be objective as they are extremely biased! I like Elijah Wood and I generally think he is a superb actor but I'm sorry but he was badly miscast as the Artful Dodger. His British accent was horrible and he looked too old for the part and in his costumes he looked like some kind of sissified dandy instead of a streetwise pickpocet. Sorry but this movie is a clunker!"
Don't watch this before a test!
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As usual, Disney has just twisted the plot and characters to fit its own view of the world. The plot is lost in the cuteness that only Disney can create, and the characters become shallow and simple. I suggest the PBS version, or an older one. Even Oliver! is more true to Dickens than this. Shame on Disney!"