Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Oliver Who?

Roman Polanksi doing Oliver Twist? Wouldn’t that sort of be like Quentin Tarantino re-making Pollyanna? I had heard Polanski was doing this a while back, but it completely fell out of my consciousness until yesterday when I saw the trailer on the Apple trailers website today. For the first time since starting this blog, I find myself completely and utterly speechless. I am so dumbfounded that I don’t even know how to rant or rave, as I simply don’t understand the trailer that played before my eyes. It was so wacky, so cute, so warm, so funny…. This from the director who did Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, and The Ninth Gate? Even his most recent film, The Pianist, which I thought had an incredibly moving message of hope and faith, was still very dark, and certainly not light in spirit.

So why this? I don’t even think this is a case of “selling out” or “going soft” because the entire production design and all the performances appear to be so stylized, so it doesn’t seem to be a matter of slacking off. Maybe Oliver Twist is a favorite book of Polanski’s. Maybe he has a penchant for pickpockets. Either way, I’m still befuddled by this trailer. It really seems like he went whole hog with the thing, casting a whole bunch of Brits, doing outlandish costumes, ---it sort of reeks of an expensive Masterpiece Theatre.

I myself haven’t read the book in ages, and am tempted to revisit Dickens’ old tome now that I’ve seen the trailer. Dickens certainly wrote a lot of stories which contained dark, dreary misery, but I think the thing that strikes me most odd about this trailer, is that it seems to lack all of these things. Everything comes off in the style of a melodrama; and it comes across as being more of a jolly old rumpus adventure, than a depressing drama. I suppose it’s possible that the trailer was just cut this way, and the film has a different tone. Still….would somebody please watch this trailer too, and tell me what the hell is going on here?!


Blogger The Moviequill said...

I guess it will be a 'grueling' effort to watch...

6:31 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Ha, Ha, Ha....very funny.
Actually I'm more curious, than concerned...

9:22 AM  

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