Acclaimed director Roman Polanski turns a dark eye toward the classic Charles Dickens novel OLIVER TWIST, about a charming orphan boy (Barney Clark) whose life seems to depend solely on the whims of fate. Abandoned early in life, Oliver first seems doomed to life in a workhouse, where he is farmed out to a local undertaker where he regularly is underfed and mistreated. Hoping to improve his lot in life, Oliver runs away to London, where he falls in with a gang of petty criminals led by the fence Fagin (Ben Kingsley) and the young pickpocket the Artful Dodger (Harry Eden). His new situation seems like relief, until he meets Mr. Brownlow (Edward Hardwicke), who sees Oliver's true character and potential and seems determined to sway destiny.
Despite his innocent performance, eleven-year old Barney Clark was already a seasoned professional when Polanski recruited him to play Oliver, including studies at the Anna Scher Theatre and performances in the film THE LAWLESS HEART and British television dramas FOYLE'S WAR and THE BRIEF. Also of note is the moving score by award-winning composer Rachel Portman, which brings to life the gritty life of Victorian London. Polanski can now add OLIVER TWIST to his array of classic films, including THE PIANIST and CHINATOWN, which forever will shape cinematic vision.
Ian McNeice - Actor/"Year Of The Comet"
Edward Hardwicke - British Actor/Dad=cedric
Rachel Portman - Composer
Roman Polanski - Director/Screenwriter/Actor
Ronald Harwood - Screenwriter, THE PIANIST (2002)
Ben Kingsley - British actor, GANDHI/SCHINDLER'S LIST
Krishna Banji - British actor, GANDHI/SCHINDLER'S LIST
Sir Ben Kingsley - British actor, GANDHI/SCHINDLER'S LIST
Alain Sarde - French Producer
Mark Strong - Actor
Jamie Foreman - British Actor, GANGSTER NO. 1 (2000)
Herve De Luze - Editor
Anna Sheppard - Costume Designer, SAHARA (2005)
Pawel Edelman - Director of Photography, THE PIANIST (2002)
Robert Benmussa - Producer, THE PIANIST (2002)
Harry Eden - Actor, PURE (2005)
Leanne Rowe - Actor, OLIVER TWIST (2005)
Barney Clark - Actor, OLIVER TWIST (2005)
Theatrical Release Date: September 23, 2005.
"[P]ersonal and poignant....Polanski here considers the case of a person shaped by a fate over which he has no control..." - 09/30/2005 Entertainment Weekly, p.71-72
"[W]ith tact and enthusiasm, Mr. Polanski grabs hold of a great book and rediscovers its true and enduring vitality." - 09/23/2005 New York Times, p.E6
"Polanski's done a very creditable job with the material....Polanski brings a searing intensity and sense of angry helplessness to the early scenes of Oliver's treatment in the workhouse." - 10/01/2005 Sight and Sound, p.80