Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Nicholas Nickelby (2002)

Director: Douglas McGrath
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Nathan Lane, Jim Broadbent, Christopher Plummer, Jamie Bell, Anne Hathaway, Alan Cumming, Timothy Spall, Tom Courtenay, Juliet Stevenson, Romola Garai, Stella Gonet, Heather Goldenhersh, Barry Humphries, Gerard Horan, William Ash, Edward Fox, David Bradley, Phil Davis, Kevin McKidd

The Nickleby's are a quiet, close family residing in the English countryside until the unexpected death of their leader and father. With no source of income, new head of the family, 19-year-old Nicholas (Hunnam), takes his sister Kate (Garai) and mother (Gonet) to seek help from their wealthy uncle (Plummer) who sends Nicholas off to tutor in a boys workhouse while setting Kate up in a role of stature.

Inspired, episodic telling of the Charles Dickens novel is given such delicate treatment thanks to writer/director McGrath's handling of the material, which has a beautiful weave of those tragic and comedic elements prevalent in Dickens works. McGrath also helmed the wonderful Gwyneth Paltrow starring Emma, another period piece adapted from Jane Austen's novel.

An incredible cast boosts the most enthusiastic part of this films success, including outstanding performances from a pre-Sons of Anarchy Hunnam, a pre-Hollywood Hathaway, Bell, Plummer, Courtenay, Broadbent, Stevenson, Cumming, Garai and Fox. The most delightful moments are with Lane and Humphries as Mr. and Mrs. Crummles, the heads of a touring theatrical troupe. Beautiful set designs (Eve Stewart - The King's Speech, Les Miserable) and cinematography (Dick Pope - Mr. Turner) shot around London locations.


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