Dickens in December Event: Oliver Twist (The Movie)

Dickens in December

Caroline at Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Delia at Postcards from Asia are organising the Dickens in December event. There is a read-a-long, a watch-a-long and there are of course book reviews.

This weekend I watched Oliver Twist, the 2005 movie by Roman Polanski with Ben Kingsley, Barney Clark and Jamie Foreman. My kids (boys, 14 and 15) saw the old-fashioned streets and houses at the beginning of the movie and decided this was not for them. But they stayed to watch anyway and loved the story even though it lasted for over 2 hours!

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Oliver Twist (2005)

Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist in the 1830s but the story is funny enough to be entertaining even for modern kids and adults. Oliver Twist is an orphan who is sent to work in a work house. When he asked for more food, after having been given a few spoonfuls of porridge as a meal, he is considered a rebel and “sold” to anyone who wants him (they get the boy PLUS 5 pounds). His new employers employ a terrible bully, just a few years older than Oliver, and he decides to elope to London.

In London, Oliver is quickly picked up by one of Fagin’s boys. Fagin is a crook who has a number of boys working for him as a pickpocket. But a wealthy man  takes pity on Oliver, and adopts him, after which Fagin and his cronies try to get Oliver back.

It was a fun and entertaining story. I was surprised that a whole hour had passed when I happened to look at my watch. The movie definitely didn’t feel like two hours long. Everything about the movie seemed right, the cast, the setting (a believable London of the 1800s), the clothes, etc.


Rating: 5 (out of 5) – very good

Time: 130 minutes

First published: As a series in a newspaper, in 1837

I got this movie: borrowed it from the library

Genre: classic

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

11 Responses to Dickens in December Event: Oliver Twist (The Movie)

  1. Caroline says:

    I agree with you. I thought this was an excellent movie. I don’t think I’ve seen any other version of Oliver Twist but I’ve seen other movies based on his novels and this is one of my favorites. Thanks so much for joining.

  2. Isi says:

    I also liked it when I watched the movie at the cinema, but I have to say I still haven’t read the book.

  3. cbjames says:

    Well you all should read the book. It also moves along at a very quick pace.

    I thought this movie version was excellent, too. Did you know he filmed it all on a single massive soundstage?

    But I think David Lean’s Great Expectations is still the best Dickens adaptation. It’s got such beautiful black and white photography. His version of David Copperfield is also wonderful. He had W.C. Fields playing Mr. Macawber. Fields is so great in the part, you’ll begin to suspect Dickens had him in mind when he wrote the book. 😉

    • Leeswammes says:

      I didn’t know how he filmed it, James. Funny! It looks like a complete town!

      I haven’t seen Great Expectations, I think I am getting a different version from the library (DVD). I have to take what they have, and that isn’t much. Interesting, yes, how some people seem exactly right for the parts!

  4. Sounds fun! I should join – I have not read it or seen the movie.

  5. Charlie says:

    I’ve only seen the older film version, and liked it, but the grimness put me put off reading the book (though I think that was mostly due to the age of the film). Looks like I need to see this newer one!

  6. Pingback: Dickens in December – Wrap up « Beauty is a Sleeping Cat

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