We are back with MOAR DICKENS! This time, it’s the literally ill-advised “Oliver Twist” from 1948. David Lean was told not to make this movie, but he did and oh boy here it is! It has a lot of problems with some sticky antisemitism issues, but it’s also a brilliantly made film in a lot of ways. So . . . what can you do?
Guillermo del Toro said about this and “Great Expectations”:
Most people remember David Lean for his big-scale epics, like Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, or The Bridge on the River Kwai. But here he is at his most precise and poetic. Both movies are epics of the spirit, and both are plagued by grand, utterly magical moments and settings; whether showing Oliver’s mother straining and in pain, by intercutting with a flexing branch of thorns, or by lovingly lingering on Miss Havisham’s decaying splendor, Lean understand the need for hyperbole in order to manage the larger-than-life Dickensian archetypes. Some of the passages in both films skate the fine line between poetry and horror.