Best Picture Reviews: Oliver!

(Sorry there’s no picture, there was a technical glitch)

When it comes to musicals, I consider myself a fan. (Get it, because.. never mind) When I turned on the 1968 Best Picture, Oliver! (The last musical to win until Chicago) I was drawn in by the spectacle of the first song. But then, I started getting confused. I didn’t know who these people were, or what their motivations were. I was getting upset. And that’s when I realized that I had accidentally put on Act 2 instead. Whoops!

After the confusion was over, I put the movie on and found myself enjoying it quite well. Oliver Twist (Mark Lester) is an orphan who runs away and comes across the Artful Dodger (Jack Wild) who persuades Oliver to join a group of pickpockets led by a man named Fagin. (Ron Moody) Eventually, Oliver finds a much better place to stay, but a thief named Bill Sykes (Oliver Reed) isn’t going to let him go so easily.

First of all, let me say that this film has some of the best production design I’ve ever seen in a film. All of the sets are absolutely enormous, and they look very realistic. There stylized as well, and there’s one scene where a bridge that was shown numerous times earlier falls apart. And keep in mind that you need to do multiple takes when you film scenes, so they needed to make a set that could fall apart and then be put back together for the next take.

Also, the choreography is amazing. I can’t even imagine how many hours of rehearsal the actors had to go through, but it pays off. On top of that, the costume design, Oliver Reed’s performance and the directing are all done well.

But while everything about the film is done well, somehow the film itself doesn’t resonate with me. I mean, I never really cared about any of the characters or where the story was headed. I mean, what’s the moral of the story? It’s okay to run off with strangers if they sing? I mean, the film does nothing wrong and is filled with a lot of things that worked, but I can’t call it perfect, Highly recommended, though.

****1/2

NaNoWriMo is much harder than I thought it would be!

One thought on “Best Picture Reviews: Oliver!

  1. I like your analysis. Charles Dicken’s books are extremely depressing – must be difficult to make musicals from them.

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