Oliver Twist

It’s normal to expect greatness from director Roman Polanski, and we don’t get that with his flat, uninspired take on the Charles Dickens classic. Dull, dull, dull. Polanski’s choice for Oliver (Barney Clark) is a sweet enough kid, but perhaps he’s not prepared for such a weighty role. It’s a joyless affair full of nondistinct characters (surprising, considering the source material) and grungy visuals. Undoubtedly, the Academy will throw a Best Supporting Actor nomination at Ben Kingsley, who really doesn’t deserve one. His turn at the sleazy Fagin is scenery chewing at its worst. While the movie feels long, it also manages to feel rushed and unfinished, with large swaths of Oliver’s adventures going untouched. This is one of those literary adaptation films that normally hogs up space on year-end award lists. Hopefully, those with the voting power will see this for what it is: an expensive and expansive bore.


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