Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Little Dorrit (Movie)

 Based on the book by Charles Dickens, this movie (or mini-series, if you prefer) is set in 1826 London. It’s about a girl named Amy Dorrit, who was born in the Marshalsea Prison for Debt. Her life is devoted to caring for her father. She finds a position doing needlework for an elderly lady, but is careful not to tell her father - who is too proud even after more than 20 years in debtor’s prison - because he would not allow it. Meanwhile, the son of the lady she works for (Arthur Clennam) comes back from being abroad 15 years. He brings news of his father’s death, and is determined to find out the meaning of his father’s dying words. To tell more of the story might take away some of the many surprises, so I will just go on to say…


What I like about Little Dorrit

Secret pasts and dastardly villains!

Those parts that keep you on the edge of your seat and your eyes wide open!

Yes, romance is always nice, and this is not a stereotypical love story, to be sure. It’s the type where you’re not sure what’s going to happen, or at least how.

A very admirable hero and heroine

I love Amy Dorrit. She is so selfless, even though her family is excessively irritating. She is always obedient and respectful, and thinks of others before herself, even when she’s hurting deeply inside.

The story is hardly less about Arthur Clennam, and a worthy hero he is! He’s probably somewhere near the top of my favorite 19th-century gentlemen list (well, I don’t literally have a list, but you know what I mean.) He is also very caring about other people.

A variety of interesting characters
Well, it’s Charles Dickens. You can expect the most outrageous & funny people in his stories.

Quotes What’s a movie without funny and quotable lines?

Story All the above make for a very interesting story, don't you think?

Music I liked a lot of the music in this movie. The tragic/dramatic song was particularly gripping. After watching Bleak House just a few days before, I greatly appreciated the music on Little Dorrit. Much more…meaningful. Unfortunately, there is no soundtrack available. But I found piano sheet music a couple of places on the internet, and that’s better than nothing.All of the above make for a very interesting story, don’t you think?

What I didn’t like about Little Dorrit
Objectionable scenes: Fortunately for me, I had a sister who’d already seen this movie, so she fast-forwarded some parts. These are the parts I recommend skipping:
   Episode 2: Anything to do with the “French guy” (three scenes). He’s a creep.
   Episode 4: At the end, there is a murder scene. (Didn’t see it myself of course, but I’ve heard it’s quite unpleasant.)
   If you can’t stand bloody things or the like, you will also want to watch out at the end of Episode 13 and the very beginning of 14.

There are some dresses with very low necklines - never, however, worn by Amy. She is always modest. They are mostly worn by her older sister and a woman named Mrs. Merdle.

There is some swearing in there, although I tried to ignore them, so I can’t report explicitly.

Actors I recognized
     Matthew Macfadyen (Arthur Clennam) - Mr. Darcy on Pride and Prejudice (2005). I liked him much better as Mr. Clennam. He looks different, too.
     Tom Courtenay (Mr. Dorrit) - Newman Noggs, a funny old guy on Nicholas Nickleby (2002)    

     Alun Armstrong (Flintwinch) - Detective Bucket on Bleak House (2005), Daniel Peggotty on David Copperfield (1999)
     James Fleet (Frederick Dorrit, Mr. Dorrit’s brother) - John Dashwood on Sense and Sensibility (1995)     Bill Paterson (Mr. Meagles) - Mr. Gibson on Wives and Daughters, Mr. Potter on Miss Potter, and I’ve also seen him on Amazing Grace.
     Harriet Walter (Mrs. Gowan) - Fanny Dashwood on Sense and Sensibility (1995) 

     Robert Hardy (Tite Barnacle) - Sir John Middleton on Sense and Sensibility (1995)
     Ron Cook (Mr. Chivery) - Mr. Bozzle on He Knew He Was Right
     John Alderton (Mr. Casby) - Mr. Outhouse on He Knew He Was Right

Some people might object to the length - it is 7 ½ hours long. But personally, I like long movies. You can only see something for the first time once, and it is all the more to enjoy. You understand why it’s so long when you see the length of the book. I imagine a considerable amount was still left out! For a movie that long, you’d be surprised how little of the time nothing interesting is happening.

Many people rate things when they review them - well, I’m going to give it a grade, A+ being the highest.
I’ll give it an A, and that is the movie without the ‘bad’ scenes. I really enjoyed it--ask anyone in my family or close acquaintance, I really got into the story. I love those stories that you can’t stop thinking about for a while.


Elegance of Fashion said...

I loved Little Dorrit. There are those couple of scenes that are best left skipped over, but overall, it was very good!

I don't think Harriet Walter was in Emma. I think she was in some other period dramas.

I agree with you that Matthew Macfayden was much better as Arthur Clennam than Mr. Darcy. He was not Mr. Darcy. He acted much better in Little Dorrit.

Melody said...

I loved it too!! :)

Oh, you are right. My mistake. :) There was someone else I left out, as well.

Yes!! Definitely!!!

Elegance of Fashion said...

I think the actor who was Mr. Plornish was in a couple of episodes of Lark Rise to Candleford. Also Andy Serkis was in here and in Lord of the Rings. That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

I love how in BBC period dramas, you can recognize all the different actors and actresses from other period dramas!

Melody said...

The one I forgot was person who was Flintwinch. ;-)

Charity U said...

Okay, now I know I have to see it. :) Nice review, Melody!

Melody said...

Did you watch the preview, Charity? :)

History Girl said...

Hi Melody!!
I just have a quick question.
How do you make a blog button?
I love them, I would like to know
how to make one. You been such a good friend.


Melody said...

It's a little complicated, but I will try to explain as best I can without making a tutorial. haha ;-)

First, I made the design for it. I copied it from a design program on our computer and pasted it onto "Paint" (I think every computer comes with Paint) and saved it.

I took a little suggestion from here: and actually put the picture on a blog post, and published the post so that the picture was online somewhere. Then I followed the directions from this very helpful tutorial:
Except she says you need a Photobucket account, and I don't have one. This is where I used the advice from the other tutorial. When you click on the picture from the published post, you can copy the link, and that's what you use instead of the Photobucket link. Other than that, I did everything the same as that second tutorial. :)

Good luck!

History Girl said...

Hi Melody!
I Love Charles Dickens and Jane Austen.
But I like Charles Dickens storys a little more
than Jane Austen. But I love her too.
My favorite story writen by Charles Dickens is
Oliver Twist. Did I tell you that I was writing a story??? Its called "A Orphan In Love". Ive Already have written the 1st 3 Chapters. And half way throu the 4th.


Jessica said...

I'll have to finish Little Dorrit when we get settled in! :-)

Melody said...

Yes, Jessica, you should! =) Do they have it in their library system?

Marie said...

I decide that this is my all-time favorite movie almost every time I watch it. You did such a good job not giving anything away...:)

Would you rather hear the story...

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