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Nicholas Nickleby

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Christopher Plummer, Jim Broadbent, Alan Cumming, Nathan Lane, Juliet Stevenson, Edward Fox, Tom Courtenay, and Romaloa Garai.
Written By Charles Dickens.
Directed by: Douglas McGrath ( who adapted for the screen too)

 

Even if you didn't have a calendar you'd know by the multitude of Charles Dickens productions feathered through the mediums it's the season… And I say, being a Dickens addicted debutante, it's a glorious time of the year!

This season there's a particularly tasty new film version of Nicholas Nickleby served up trussed and dressed! It's a beautiful piece both extravagant and proper - as Dickens would have liked, I imagine. Dickens always weaved in a less-than-subtle moral element into his yarns. Here he shows us no matter how bad things get you must stick to your beliefs and do onto others as you would wish them to do to you.

Nicholas is about a young man who is sent out in the world to earn his keep after his father, a delicate but honest man, passes away.

Nicholas and his small family, mother and sister, go down into London to meet their uncle Ralph (Christopher -Capt. Von Trapp- Plummer). Uncle Ralph is a very successful man without a moral strand in his being. He sets up each of the kinfolk in some twisted job. Nicholas is sent to Dotheboys' school for boys as a teacher.

The school is run by two of Dickens' creepiest of characters, Mr. and Mrs. Squeers (Jim Broadbent and Heather Goldenhersh). While there he immediately befriends this slight of a boy that echoes of Dickens' Oliver. The boy named Smike (Jamie Bell) is a tad crippled. The 'orrible Squeers couple treats him worse than a poor animal bred to slaughter (yech).

Nic cannot bare the place, or their treatment of Smike, and soon the two escape (or get thrown out depending on how you look at it) and the real adventure begins.

Nicholas and his adopted brother meet up with actors (Alan Cumming, Nathan Lane and Barry Humphries) and become part of the show. Briefly the two are silly and carefree… but this is Dickens and we are enroute to a moral mind you so the reprieve of glee is brief, if necessary.

The two will go on a remarkable self-discovery journey as they are penned through their fictional lives. It's Dickens remember so it's rich and colorful riddled with memorable folks that ad whimsy and mayhem through-out. A delectable dish of cinematic yum!

This young buck Charlie Hunnam looks like he's cut from that same mold as the edible Heath Ledger. He's tall and gorgeous like a torte rustica teasing you beckoning you to partake in its fattening, yet delectable layers of multiple tasty bits. Keep your eye out for this guy!

Then there's the titilating comedy troupe they've thrown in here. Being a stereotypical openly gay male in a female's body (down to the continual redesigning of my dwelling and the mandatory "straightening" of picture frames at friends' abodes to my impeccable and grandly opinionated tastes in theater) I find both Alan Cumming and Nathan Lane are even my "type" of man filet. And they are ah-dorable in this. Scrumptious fluttering flamboyant characters delivered by flutter flamboyant characters! Purrfect m' dears.

Jim Broadbent, as always, steals his scenes. His lovely bride, Heather Goldenhersh 's performance has me in therapy she was so evil…

If you're a Dickens fan - it is a must see. If your into period pieces done right- it is a must see. The whole cast of misfits is here from the sinister Squeers family, to the quirky Crummle troupe of thespian drama queens! This Nicholas Nickleby is a festive treat as sweet as gooseberry jam!

The sets are beautiful and the actors superb. There are a few tiny flaws - most from simply trying to translate an epic masterpiece onto film…Sadly they chose to leave out chunks of the story to make a ho-hum drum roll inducing ending; that stupid "shocker" end. But the fluffy moral core that makes NN ageless manages to shine brightly through this beautiful film, faux pax included, making it a must see and, shortly, a mandatory edition to the "authors" section of your DVD collection!

Snack Recommendation: Kidney pies and dark warm ale.

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